Following our coverage of the incident between Kimi Raikkonen and World-renowned photographer Paul-Henri Cahier ahead of Sunday s British Grand Prix, the photographer has now issued a statement in his defence.
Raikkonen s camp defended the driver, who pushed over the photographer, insisting he had been provoked after Paul-Henri had “touchedâ€ the 28 year-old and “stood on Kimi s gearâ€.
However, in a statement on Cahier s website, â€˜The Cahier Archive , the photographer felt it necessary to â€˜clarify a few points saying:
“There never was any contact between the two men, nor did Paul-Henri ever touch Kimi s equipment. Furthermore, the distance at which Paul-Henri Cahier was taking a picture, although close, was completely standard. The photographers who take pictures at Grand Prix races are all professionals who have been accredited by the FIA, and as the dozen other photographers who were standing next to Paul-Henri Cahier prove, there was nothing unusual or unethical about this situation.â€
The photographer went on to say that he “has been an F1 photographer for almost forty years and has been close to the greatest champions, but none of them has ever behaved in such a rude manner. It is understandable that drivers might get irritable because of the pressure they undergo, but Kimi Raikkonen never even attempted to express his discontent in a non violent way. Paul-Henri Cahier luckily did not suffer any injury, and so does not intend to take any action, but he regrets the arrogance with which Kimi Raikkonen treated someone who was merely doing his job.â€
Discuss who was at fault here, and view the video of the incident between Cahier and Raikkonen on our F1 Forum here.
Raikkonen endured a mare of a race during yesterday s British Grand Prix as his Ferrari team struggled to adapt their strategy to the changing weather conditions. However, it appears the Finn was frustrated even ahead of the red lights going out.
As the 28 year old exited his F2008 Ferrari after bringing the car to the Silverstone grid, noted photographer Paul-Henri Cahier started to capture images as he removed his helmet. Kimi objected to the attention as the Frenchman used a flash enabled camera just inches from the driver s face. When Cahier came closer, standing on the Ferrari driver s race equipment, Raikkonen pushed the photographer over backwards.
It was a heat of the moment reaction, and as such Paul-Henri will not be taking the matter further. However, it does raise the question of how much access the press should have ahead of such an event, as drivers and teams attempt to prepare for races of which Championships and millions of pounds worth of sponsorship rest upon.
Speaking of the encounter to Finnish television station MTV3.fi, Kimi s manager Steve Robertson was quoted as saying: “This one particular photographer was actually standing on Kimi’s gear, and obviously he’s preparing for the race. He actually touched Kimi, and Kimi is obviously trying to protect himself – you know he’s got his work to do. They should respect the fact that Kimi has got to go out there and race, and not to get too close.â€.
Click here to view the confrontation between Raikkonen and Cahier on our forums.
Update Article – Photographer brands Kimi â€˜Rude and â€˜Arrogant