Kimi, who is known for enjoying the odd vodka or 10, was in particularly 'good spirits'.
St Petersburg, Russia – The FIA’s gala awards function on Friday was meant to be all about Lewis Hamilton, who collected his fifth Formula One world champion’s trophy as well as a media-voted award for personality of the year, but it was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen that took the limelight by doing what he does best.
The Finn, who leaves Ferrari for Sauber next season, is known for enjoying the odd vodka or ten and the booze was flowing free and fast at the event, to the point where has was in particularly ‘good spirits’ when he came onto the stage with Sebastian Vettel to collect his prize for coming third in the driver’s championship.
Raikkonen was earlier seen brandishing a cigar and looking like he was really enjoying the party.
“Kimi has enjoyed tonight a lot,” observed the show presenter.
Judging by the reaction on social media, the fans really enjoyed it too.
In various other videos posted on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, Raikkonen is seen interacting with colleagues and fans, and even climbing over a small fence.
Lewis Hamilton meanwhile focused on more serious topics when FIA president Jean Todt handed him his trophy.
Asked whether matching Michael Schumacher’s record seven championships was his ultimate goal, Hamilton said he had never set that as a target.
He made clear, however, that he would be around long enough to give it a try.
“I’ve just signed for another two years…so I’m excited about the next couple of years,” said the champion, who won 11 races out of 21 this year. “But right now I’m happy that the racing’s over.
“Next year’s going to be so tough, the seasons are getting longer and longer. I don’t know how long I’m going to go, currently two years sounds good for me.
“But I still love racing so maybe I’ll be going a lot longer. Who knows?”
Hamilton, who said also that his parents had wanted to be present but had a problem with the Russian visa process, had earlier been a no-show at an official news conference.
Mercedes said he had not felt “100 percent”.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was presented with the constructors’ trophy by moustachioed Formula One chief executive Chase Carey – the team’s fifth in a row.
Wolff and his team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda were also recipients of the FIA president’s special award, with the triple world champion absent as he recovers from a lung transplant.
“He sends his regards, he is recovering very well,” said Wolff. “Next time he’s going to be here.”
Charles Leclerc, Vettel’s team mate at Ferrari next year, was the rookie of the year for the second successive season after winning the Formula Two title in 2017.
The Action of the Year, voted by fans worldwide, went to Finnish rally driver Teemu Suninen for a massive slide on his home event.
IOL & Reuters