French Grand Prix diary - Kimi wears headphones so he doesn't have to talk to people

The Formula One paddock is a busy place that hosts a lot of serious business over a race weekend, but this blog aims to bring you some of the news stories you might otherwise miss.

"Just leave me alone..."

To say Kimi Raikkonen is a man of few words is putting it lightly. The 2007 world champion -- who once famously told his Lotus team to "leave me alone, I know what to do!" -- has gained a cult following for his monosyllabic responses over the years and frequently tops fan polls for the most popular active driver.

Like many drivers, Raikkonen wears headphones whenever he steps on the truck which takes the drivers around a circuit for the pre-race parade. However, as he told current team Alfa Romeo ahead of the French Grand Prix, that's not just because he wants to keep up with who is top of the charts.

"I listen to a lot of Finnish music, I [honestly] listen to to all kinds of music" he said. "I think especially on the drivers parade I often just keep [headphones] on my ears so people think that I listen and they don't want to talk to you..."

It might be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it just seems like a very apt think for the Iceman to admit.

Vettel gets married

Amid all the talk of penalties and FIA reviews, there was some very happy news from the Ferrari motorhome in France. Between leaving the Canadian Grand Prix and turning up in the Paul Ricard paddock, Sebastian Vettel married his high school sweetheart Hanna Prater. The couple, who have two children together and live in Switzerland, tied the knot at a private ceremony. Vettel was spotted wearing his new gold wedding band during the French Grand Prix media day on Thursday.

A good way to put a five-second time penalty and a lost grand prix victory into perspective...

Absent champ

Lewis Hamilton missed Thursday's media session at the French Grand Prix in order to attend the memorial of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, who died on February 19 this year.

Hamilton was scheduled to talk to the media in the Paul Ricard paddock at 16:05, but after gaining permission from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, stayed in Paris to attend the memorial at the Grand Palais.

Speaking about Lagerfeld after his death, which occurred during F1's preseason testing this year, Hamilton said: "I met him once. He is the Godfather of the fashion industry. He was effortless with his own fashion style and no one has had such a big impact on the fashion industry and left a great legacy."

The memorial, titled 'Karl For Ever,' was organised by Chanel, Fendi and Lagerfeld's own brand and featured interpretative dances, music and theatre performances based on Lagerfeld's work. Hamilton is expected to fly to the circuit, which has its own airfield, in the evening.

Hamilton is closely linked to the fashion industry and has designed two collections with Tommy Hilfiger.

NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was famously fined for skipping media sessions while a member of the Seattle Seahawks, leading to him repeating the answer "I'm just here so I don't get fined" at media events he was obliged to attend from that point on. As it was a Mercedes media session, Hamilton does not run a similar risk of a financial penalty.

The following morning, Hamilton hinted that he was braced for criticism for missing his duties, posting this to Instagram on Friday.

New lids on the block

Romain Grosjean has a new helmet design for his home race. It's quite something, too.

The Haas driver enlisted the help of designer Richard Orlinski, who has also designed the French Grand Prix podium trophies, for this year's lid.

"Last year, obviously, I did blue, white, red which is a very nice one, but this year I wanted to do something a bit different so I contacted Richard Orlinski because I'm a big fan of his artwork and I met him here last year and I sent him a white piece of paper and I said can you produce a helmet for me for the French Grand Prix?

"And he answered yes, I would love to and I was super excited about it and then I received the artwork and I think it does represent Richard very well in the way that the design is done. It's very, very different to anything I've been wearing up to date so I like it even more and I think it's just great that it's part of the whole show. Richard is doing the trophy for the podium, we can see the 'Kong' everywhere around the racetrack and I know there will be my helmet racing on track so it's pretty cool."

The other French driver on the grid, Red Bull's Pierre Gasly, has opted for red, white and blue of his home nation's flag for this weekend's race.