It is not uncommon for automakers to ask well-known racing drivers to promote their models, but Zeekr took a step further by giving a more active role to Kimi Raikkonen. The F1 champion nicknamed “The Ice Man” was appointed Chief Performance Adviser at Zeekr.

According to the post on Zeekr’s official account on X, Raikkonen’s first task will be to make the Zeekr 001 FR “faster and stronger”. The 44-year-old Fin will assist Zeekr’s engineers in the fine-tuning of the chassis and powertrain of the EV, taking advantage of his vast experience in different fields of motorsports over the years. Besides posing for the camera in front of the EV, Raikkonen went as far as filming a 24-second video where he announced his new role while being in his signature emotional status.

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Zeekr / X

The Zeekr 001 FR was introduced in September as the Chinese rival of the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air Sapphire. The performance flagship of the 001 lineup comes fitted with quad electric motors producing an impressive 1,248 hp (930 kW / 1,265 PS) and sophisticated torque vectoring capabilities. All this power is combined with an aggressive carbon fiber bodykit, suspension by KW, and brakes by AP Racing. Zeekr promises a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 2.07 seconds as long as the test is performed with a rolling start.

Back to Kimmi Raikkonen, his racing career behind the wheel of F1 single-seaters started in 2001 and ended in 2021, with a two-year hiatus between 2010-2011. His greatest achievement was winning the championship with Ferrari in 2007, although he came close to winning more titles with two 2nd spots and three 3rd spots in the overall driver’s standings. Raikkonen has also competed in WRC and NASCAR proving his love for motorsports and fast cars.

The driver’s Wikipedia page mentions that he is known for “his reserved personality and reluctance to participate in public relations events”. Still, this won’t stop him from being present at the official launch event of the Zeekr 001 FR in Beijing, China scheduled for October 27. We expect to learn more about the performance-focused EV then. Besides China, Zeekr is also considering bringing the 001 FR to the European market.