‘The Iceman’ ended up being one of the most popular drivers on the grid during his lengthy career in F1, with him racking up well over 300 Grand Prix starts.
In that time, he’d drive for the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, with him winning the title in dramatic fashion back in 2007, as he pipped squabbling team-mates Fernando Alonso and Hamilton to the crown at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
He’d go close to the championship in other years as well, namely in 2003 and 2005 when driving for McLaren, and many believe in ’05 that he should have taken the title but the car he had was just too fragile, despite being supremely fast.
Even so, he will go down as a Formula 1 world champion and no-one can ever take that from him, though Priestley believes that Kimi could have had even more success in his career if he’d adopted the approach Hamilton has taken.
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“Kimi was the fastest over a lap on his day,” he said to the Pit Stop podcast.
“But Kimi was far from being the most complete Formula 1 driver. He won a world championship, you can’t knock him, but he only won one.
“And I firmly believe, and he had no desire to do this, that if he’d applied himself like a Lewis Hamilton, he could have gone on to win many World Championships.
“For Kimi, he loved being behind the wheel and everything else about Formula 1 he hated. He couldn’t stand it, he just wanted to drive.”
Kimi was loved for the no-nonsense approach he had to both on and off-track activities.
He was blisteringly fast and a naturally gifted driver, that in his pomp could race and beat the likes of Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and, of course, Hamilton.
He remained true to how he wanted to go driving and did his career on his terms, too, and that’s all anyone can really ask for in life.