'Just another race' - Raikkonen relaxed over F1 milestone

Sochi (Russia) (AFP) –


Kimi Raikkonen typically avoided any fuss on Thursday over talk of his equalling Rubens Barrichello’s record this weekend as Formula One’s most experienced driver.

The taciturn Finn, dubbed 'the ice man', will start his 322nd race in Sunday's Russian Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton could equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins.

"It’s just another race," said the Alfa Romeo driver. "I’ll try to make it a good one and let’s see what happens and comes out of it.

"I think every record will end up being broken at some point in most sports -- that’s how it has always happened. As I’ve said many times, it doesn’t mean anything for me.

"It doesn’t make any difference. Maybe in the future, when I’ll look back at things, whatever the number will be, maybe I’ll look at it differently…."

Raikkonen, 41 next month, entered F1 in 2001 with Sauber and has raced for McLaren, Ferrari (in two spells) and Lotus, winning the drivers' world title in 2007 with Ferrari.

He began his career at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix after only 23 car races of any sort, following his karting days and missed both the 2010 and 2011 F1 seasons to go rallying.

He is one of only five drivers to have started more than 300 races.

The others are Brazilian Barrichello, two-time champion Fernando Alonso on 311, the 2009 champion Jenson Button and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher on 306.

Raikkonen has won 21 Grands Prix and had 103 podiums in his career.