One guy who shares Salo's enthusiasm for the Alonso-Raikkonen combo at Ferrari is Rhys Edwards. Rhys worked in F1 at Renault (now Lotus F1) before being headhunted by Ferrari (he laid the path for Kimi to follow!). As PR officer, he thus handled Fernando Alonso at Renault and then Raikkonen at Ferrari.
“I'm thrilled at the prospect of seeing these two together, but intrigued as to how the balance will work," he related. "In my mind, the first one to have a problem with it won't be Kimi. I'm thinking it'll be more likely Fernando.”
As someone who worked incredibly diligently to gain Raikkonen's trust and become a valued member of Kimi's inner circle, Edwards sheds an interesting light on the Finn's departure from the Scuderia at the end of 2009 to make way for Alonso.
“Everyone thinks it was bloodshed and ugly and in fact it was anything but. Kimi works in two ways: he's either in your face with absolute honesty as to how he feels or he just switches off. So with that being said, he just went on his way.”
It seems the common thread here is that Raikkonen is slowly peeling away the James Hunt-style party-boy persona and is now solely focused on winning another World Championship.
“I agree with Mika in regards to Kimi's maturity,” adds Edwards. “We are still very close and I texted him to say that I would be in Monza this year. I asked him to stick around after the race for the Alpinestars 50th anniversary party and he declined. He said he just wanted to be at home.”
Edwards' professional role these days (and has been for many years) is with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in MotoGP. He was two-time World Champion Casey Stoner's PR man and now handles the Super Kid, Marc Marquez.
“Kimi reminds me a lot of Casey and vice versa – they're both speed freaks, they need to get their hit. Kimi's time away was really important for him to clear his head and he came back better, in my opinion. Knowing him the way I do, there's only one reason why he's doing what he's doing – he wants to be a multi-time World Champion. That's how the guy ticks.”
The intriguing, insular “Iceman” has always been a headline maker, and it's evident this trait will continue. And according to these two gentlemen who have a rare place in Kimi's trust, his incredible ability in a racecar isn't about to leave him anytime soon, either.