August 2, 2007 / 7:31 PM / 12 years ago

Raikkonen questioned about day out as a gorilla

Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland answers journalists' questions during a news conference in Budapest August 2, 2007. The Hungarian F1 Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, August 5. REUTERS/Karoly Arvai

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - As if there were not enough monkey business already in Formula One with all the accusations of spying and sabotage, Kimi Raikkonen was questioned on Thursday about dressing up as a gorilla.

Finnish reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix said Ferrari’s free-spirited driver and two friends took part in a powerboat race last week in the Finnish harbor city of Hanko while wearing gorilla suits.

They then won a prize for the best-dressed crew.

Asked about the episode, Raikkonen smiled enigmatically: “Yeah, but was it really me?” he replied. “You don’t know.

“We’ve got the trophy already. It was just a boat race and we went for fun,” he added.

Raikkonen, winner of three races already in his first season at Ferrari as replacement for retired seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, is used to such escapades.

Earlier in the year, the ‘Iceman’ entered and won a snowmobile race in his homeland under the name of James Hunt, the late British Formula One champion renowned for his wild playboy lifestyle.

Ferrari are currently involved in a bitter row with championship leaders McLaren, Raikkonen’s former team, about leaked information that ended up in the hands of McLaren’s now suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan.

The Italian team have also taken legal action against their former employee Nigel Stepney for allegedly sending the information to Coughlan and also for suspected sabotage.

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