BEYOND THE GRID: Beat Zehnder on three decades in F1 – and working with an early-career Kimi Raikkonen


Alfa Romeo’s Sporting Director Beat Zehnder has been working for the team for getting on for three decades and in that time he’s worked with a whole roster of stars, including Kimi Raikkonen – twice – Felipe Massa and Charles Leclerc. And on this week’s episode of F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast, Zehnder chats to Tom Clarkson about how the sport has changed since Sauber joined the grid back in 1993.

From working with a fresh-faced 22 year old Kimi Raikkonen in 2001, Zehnder had some very interesting things to say about the Finn and how his prodigious talent led not just to him being poached by McLaren, but went some way towards building the team’s wind tunnel with the severance payment.

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As for Charles Leclerc, the Swiss labelled his team’s former driver as “the most complete” driver he’s ever worked with, tipping the Monegasque for world championship glory if not this year, then in imminent seasons.

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And on a more amusing note, he also recalls the highest heart rate he’s ever seen in a Sauber driver – and it isn’t necessarily who’d you think...

Listen to the full episode of Beyond The Grid with Beat Zehnder in the player above, or head here to listen to the podcast on your favourite platform.

And to listen to the stories of other F1 personalities, click here to explore the full back catalogue of Beyond The Grid, featuring recent episodes with the likes of Vettel, George Russell, Zhou Guanyu, Marc Surer and much more.


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