Milestones are often joyous occasions, for those able to suppress the existential dread about getting older and closer to death with each milestone they pass. But Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t want your arbitrary milestones, nor does he want any of the silly celebrations you’ve planned for him.
He just wants to drive his car and be left alone, like every other race weekend.
Raikkonen’s participating in his 300th F1 weekend leading up to the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, but he certainly wasn’t the one who told you that. He doesn’t care enough. To mark the occasion, though, Motorsport.com reports that his new Alfa Romeo race team apparently booked him some celebrations—which he promptly asked to be canceled. It didn’t work.
Here’s what Raikkonen said, from the story:
“I have already told the team it’s purely a number. I tried to force them to cancel everything but [to] not very good success!”
Asked by Motorsport.com if he feels proud to still be in F1 18 years after his debut, Raikkonen said: “It doesn’t feel that long honestly, after two years out [to take part in the World Rally Championship].
“To be sure without that I wouldn’t be here today. Somehow maybe that made it not feel as long having a bit more of a normal time [in F1]. I think afterwards, whenever I stop and look back, then maybe it makes a bit more sense and feels different.
“But for now it doesn’t really feel that it’s been that long. It’s just racing.”
Monaco will be Raikkonen’s 300th F1 weekend and 297th start, according to Motorsport.com. But Raikkonen’s contract with Alfa Romeo goes through 2020, and he’s getting closer to the all-time starts record: Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello are the only drivers to surpass 300, according to Autoweek, with Barrichello leading at 322. Raikkonen will surpass that in 2020, if he fulfills his contract.
Of course, the most important question isn’t whether he’ll surpass the record—it’s whether he’ll care. Will he, Motorsport.com asked?
“No, absolutely not,” Raikkonen told the website. “I am not here to say I have the most grand prix. It gives me zero pleasure.”
Go ahead and throw your parties, then, Alfa. Celebrate Kimi Raikkonen’s success in F1, while trying not to let that total buzzkill sitting over in the far corner with a scowl ruin your mood.
Oh, wait. That’s Kimi Raikkonen.