Kimi Raikkonen is a devoted family man nowadays but during his early career, he earned a reputation as a bit of a party animal.
The Finn, a 21-time Grand Prix winner, is F1’s longest-serving driver on the current grid after making his debut back in 2001 with Sauber.
Much to the delight of fans, he is now back with the Swiss team – renamed Alfa Romeo – after leaving Ferrari last season, and is preparing for the 2019 season-opener in Melbourne this Sunday.
Raikkonen is now a married father of two – but has gained a reputation for his off-track lifestyle over the years.
“Obviously it’s been a joke often,” he told the official F1 podcast ‘Beyond The Grid’ when asked by host Tom Clarkson about his party lifestyle.
“But I actually think it’s more true than a joke that I’ve often been driving better (after) doing whatever I want between the races than if I’m just not having fun and drinks and stuff.”
“Racing and partying, for me it was normal.”
The ‘Iceman’ famously put the theory to the test during the 2013 season when he went on a 16-day binge between the Bahrain and Spain showdowns.
He added: “That whole summer was more or less racing and partying. It’s nothing new, for me it’s normal. Outside it might look a bit weird, but for me, in the past, it was a very normal story.
“I always thought that (it makes you) more relaxed and you need to put more effort and concentration in (on track) because you’re a bit unsure.
“And then the end result comes better.”
Asked if his parting antics ever had a negative impact on his career, he replied: “Absolutely not.”