During his first Formula 1 career Kimi Raikkonen’s dislike for sponsor and media engagements was almost as well-chronicled as his achievements on the track.
But second time round, and with perhaps a greater freedom and desire to go in his own direction, the 2007 world champion has become involved in something very different with a clothing company from his homeland in Finland.
Makia Clothing has signed the Lotus driver to be the ‘face’ of its new motorsport range and to launch the partnership has got the 33-year-old to star in a viral video campaign.
The first teaser clip played on the fact that the Finn’s F1 future for 2013 isn’t completely confirmed by asking ‘what will Kimi do next?’ with a promise that a new contract would be revealed this week.
The contract in question was his deal to be the face of Makia’s new racing range, but rather than announce the signing via a dry press release, the company got Raikkonen to do some more acting in a spoof kidnap plot in which he is taken by some heavies, wearing black hood and all, to a remote caravan where he is blackmailed to sign up for Makia before being sent on foot back to Monaco.
With 420,000 views on YouTube already the clip has already clearly found an audience, with Raikkonen’s fan base one of the largest in F1.