Baar, 19.02.2013

Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen may have marital problems

Readers will know by now that the Zug Post is not a gossip newspaper and it realises that the separation of Finnish Formula One racing-driver Kimi Räikkönen from his wife of 8 years is a very personal matter. However, as a result of the affection and high esteem in which he is held in the local community, it was felt fellow expatriates might like to be informed about the situation, if simply out of fraternal concern.
 
When a journalist of the Neue Zuger Zeitung enquired via the intercom of a German neighbour of Räikkönen if he was at home on the Oberen Rebhalde in Baar (second photograph), she said that the couple were frequently away. "Kimi is often away racing and his wife prefers horse-riding," she said. When asked if she did not feel it a shame that the couple were to divorce. "A shame? 40% of couples divorce these days; I am afraid it is just how things are," and did not continue the interview.
 
In fact the only sign of life in front of the futuristic-looking villa on the Reichenhügel in Baar was a neatly bound rubbish bag. "I can only confirm that Kimi is not at home at the moment," said a more forthcoming informant, an employee of the nearby Casillo drinks store. "If he were here you would see him with his Mercedes sports car  driving up. He often puts his foot down on the uphill bends," he said, not so much in criticism, more in affection and admiration. "He is a most easy-going and likeable guy, very uncomplicated. He's got money and will soon find another girlfriend," he added, apparently unconcerned about his wife's feelings.
 
Indeed, 33-year-old Räikkönen is allegedly worth CHF 100 million and makes use of the one-off lump-sum tax regulation available in Zug. In addition to the Villa Butterfly in Baar, he owns a place in Phuket in Thailand and a nice house in his home town of Espoo near Helsinki.
 
The news of his separation from Jenni Dahlmann, a former Miss Scandinavia, was not unsurprisingly front-page news in his native Finland, with one newspaper publishing a 47-page special edition on the subject. "For us in Finland, Kimi is a hero," said one Finnish journalist, who was once invited to Villa Butterfly. For a journalist she was not very forthcoming, though Finnish people are by nature rather quiet.
 
It appears Räikkönen's wife left him for dashing Swiss equestrian Steve Guerdat, who won a gold medal at the London Olympics and at whose stables in Herrliberg (in the canton of Zurich) she now keeps her horses.
 
It is hoped Räikkönen will find some consolation at matches of EVZ, the Zug ice-hockey team which he supports. He bought 4 seats in the executive area of the Bossard Arena which he attends whenever possible. "We have not seen so much of him recently," said Patrick Lengwiler, CEO of EVZ,  "but he is one of our official ambassadors. Only on one occasion has he seen Mrs Räikkönen at a match. "Kimi very much identifies with us and this is what endears him to us," Lengwiler said.