3) What does a day in your life look like?
That’s hard to say. It’s different all the time.
For starters, I’m in love with my phone and so I’m on it a lot. I get a lot of phone calls from many people.
Otherwise, I’m of course training to be in good shape and sometimes I’m working at my dad’s construction company — just to help him if he needs me. When I’m not at work with my dad, I’m building my Folkrace cars to be ready for grassroots racing back in Finland.
4) What is your favorite part of what you do?
Day-to-day, if I haven’t been driving for a long time, I can’t wait to get back into a car. I’m thinking about that right now because it has been such a long off-season. But that feeling is what I wait for every day: When do I get to drive! When that day comes it’s so exciting and everything is good.
5) Describe the vehicle you use for competition (“It is a… make/model/key specs, etc.”).
It’s the 2015 Red Bull / Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST. It is all-wheel drive and has 600 horsepower, with a six-speed sequential Sadev transmission, and multi-way adjustable Öhlins suspension.
6) What do you think is the most interesting thing about it?
How our cars can get grip on the dirt is amazing. We have 600 horsepower and even if you stop and accelerate it takes almost no time to get up to 60 mph — and faster. It’s because of a really good suspension and an amazing setup.
7) Tell me about the wheels on it: what are they (make/model/size/offset) and why did you pick them?
We use lightweight 8×17 KMC rallycross wheels that team boss Andreas Eriksson helped to design and Yokohama rallycross radial tires.
8) If you had to choose just one all-time favorite ride – your dream car or truck — what would it be, and why?
I don’t have a particular car in mind but I like to dream about having something really fast and really expensive. A sports car that performs and is good looking. Something like a Bugatti. I don’t know if it’s the world’s fastest car anymore but it has been: that’s something that would be cool to try. I will never be able to buy something that expensive. Ever. But I can dream.
10) What is your favorite competition?
Something that’s lots of fun but has low stakes, like maybe a go-kart race with friends. It’s really great to go out and just drive for fun, but still be competitive. It’s amazing how serious it can get when you all put your helmets on.
11) Who is the person that inspires you most (and why)?
I’ve got two: Kimi Räikkönen and Marcus Grönholm. Kimi is just so cool. He doesn’t care about anything, he just does his thing and he doesn’t let anything get in his way. There’s just something I like about his style.
Marcus, who I work with and who has been an amazing supporter of my career, is great because he is just so normal. When you meet him, you could never believe he’s a double World Rally Champion. If I was a star in the future, that’s how I would be: just a normal person, doing normal things.
12) You have what a lot of people consider a dream job: What was the moment in your life when you realized you could make it your career?
It was at the beginning of last year when I got the contract with OMSE and signed as a Red Bull athlete. That was the moment when I realized I could actually do this. It’s what very race driver wants but not everybody gets the opportunity. I feel so lucky to have these things happen to me. It feels amazing.
13) What advice would you give the 12-year-old you?
I would say once you’re 12, not to take it too seriously yet. Do what you want to do, work on being a professional racecar driver one day, but when you’re 12 don’t feel any pressure about how it’s going. Just enjoy it and keep at it.
14) You travel a lot: Tell us your favorite restaurant, where it is (and what takes you to the city it’s in), and what you order?
So far my favorite restaurant is in Barbados. I don’t know what it was called but I found it last year when we went to Bushy Park to race. It was this place right on the ocean, and I ordered some tuna that was really fresh – so good. I’m definitely going to find it and go back there when we’re in Barbados this fall. I’ll tell you its name then!