Classified of the week: Kimi Raikkonen’s old race car | Top Gear
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Thursday 23rd March

Classified of the week: Kimi Raikkonen’s old race car

Yep, you can buy his old Formula Renault car, for comparative peanuts

  • Wait. That’s actually Kimi’s Formula Renault?

    Yes indeedy. This is the first car that Kimi ever raced – as opposed to the carts that’d he’d been racing since he was 10 years old. 

    This is the very car that Kimi used during his first season in the 1999 Formula Renault UK season.

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  • This isn’t the one that he won the championship in, though, is it?

    How astute of you. No, this is the Haywood Racing car that Raikkonen used for four races in the 1999 season – including a run at Silverstone in April 1999 and a fourth place in his first-ever race – before he moved to Manor Motorsport.

  • Wait. Manor? As in Manor F1?

    Closely related, yes. There’s a complex history behind Manor, which would take too long to get into here, but suffice to say that it’s basically the same thing. 

    Raikkonen’s move to Manor Motorsport was a very successful one – after he took out the 1999 winter season with Manor, he took out the regular season in 2000.

    And that caught the eye of a lot of big names – including Peter Sauber, who invited Raikkonen to a test at Mugello, Jerez and Barcelona. Satisfied, he signed Raikkonen to the Red Bull and Petronas-sponsored (how times change) Sauber outfit. 

    Raikkonen then climbed the ladder to McLaren-Mercedes and eventually Ferrari, which scored him his first (and possibly only) F1 championship.

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  • Thanks for the history lesson. Let’s get back to the car – what’s it running?

    No need to be snarky, now. 

    Being a Formula Renault car, there’s a lot of clues to what’s going on in the title. So, there’s a 175bhp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder, supplied by Renault and fitted in an open-wheeled Formula car.

    Inside the cockpit, there’s a simple steering wheel, three pedals and a gearstick on your right-hand side, which operates a Hewland racing gearbox. 

  • It looks like a bucket of fun to drive.

    We’re with you there. And there’s nothing to stop you taking it to a track day or even racing it, if you’re of a more competitive disposition. 

    So, it’s a track-day car with true one-upmanship, and a tiny, Renault-powered chunk of history. And it’s yours for somewhere around £28,000 when it goes up for auction at the (deep breath) Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show Sale in Birmingham this weekend.

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