Kimi Raikkonen’s best advice for success and happiness is not to listen to the advice of others.
It’s a typical soundbite from Formula 1’s oldest, most experienced and arguably most unique and among the most popular drivers on the grid.
The 42-year-old Finn is retiring from the sport after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi finale.
When asked to nominate the best advice he heard throughout his long F1 career, Raikkonen told Agence-France Presse: “A lot of people have tried to give me advice, but I didn’t listen.
“I have always thought that you have to try to live in the best way for yourself.
“At work, if I had a choice, I would not do most of what is asked of me. But in the way you live your personal life, you have to do it for yourself,” he insisted.
“If you try to do what others want, it can work for a year or two, but it won’t end well. I’m glad I lived up to myself.
“Good or bad, I can accept it because they were my decisions.”
The 2007 world champion therefore doesn’t even offer any advice for those wanting to emulate his singular approach to facing the media.
“I don’t know,” Raikkonen smiled. “This is just how it works in my head. I tell it like it is.”
He is also not heading into retirement with any trepidation.
“No, I’m looking forward to it,” the current Alfa Romeo driver insisted.
“I left F1 for two years already. Ok, I was rallying but I’m happy at home doing normal things so I’m not worried.
“F1 takes up a lot of time, but it has never been the main thing for me. There are other things that are more important in my life.
“Now my schedule affects my whole family and I’m looking forward to not having anything planned and doing whatever they want,” Raikkonen added.
He said his career only lasted so long because he always had “more good days than bad”.
“If many years had been more bad than good, I never would have stayed this long,” he explained.
“It’s not always nice to leave home for a ten hour flight. I’m never excited about that.
“But when you end up doing what you’ve come to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that’s ok. That said, I’m glad it’s over.”
When jokingly told that his next move could be to become president of Finland, Raikkonen answered: “I’d rather be president of Finland than president of F1.
“F1 is too political. Look at what we did in Saudi Arabia. What talks is money.”