There was shock in Formula 1 today as it emerged that Kimi Raikkonen will not make the first race of season because it clashes with a mate’s house party.
‘Kimi’s friend Tuomas is celebrating his birthday in Finland,’ mumbled a Raikkonen spokesman. ‘Kimi had already agreed to go to the party. It is the night before the Australian Grand Prix. He has decided to go to the party.’
Raikkonen’s diary clash may seem remarkable but it comes as no surprise to those who have followed the Finnish driver’s career. ‘This isn’t the first time Kimi has missed a race,’ notes F1 journalist Maurice Ital. ‘He lost points during the 2004 season because the Hungarian Grand Prix clashed with the opening of a vodka bar near his house. And of course there was his famous absence from the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix when he decided he couldn’t be bothered and stayed at home watching a DVD box set of Knight Rider.’
Although Raikkonen’s news is clearly a bitter blow for Lotus, the team is trying to make the best of the surprise announcement; ‘It is not ideal for us,’ said a spokesman. ‘But at least the situation will allow us to come up with yet another incredibly tedious Twitter hashtag.’