Kimi Raikkonen to retire at end of F1 season

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Iceman is lastly retiring, bringing the curtain down on a exceptional vocation in System One particular historical past.

But not for a few months yet.

Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the finish of the year, concluding a vocation that spanned two decades and included the 2007 globe championship.

Raikkonen is in the remaining year of his agreement with Alfa Romeo. The Finn announced his departure on Instagram on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

“This is it. This will be my final year in System one,” Raikkonen wrote. “This is a conclusion I did through final winter. It was not an simple conclusion but after this year it is time for new items.

“Formula one may well appear to an finish for me but there is a good deal extra in life that I want to expertise and enjoy. See you close to after all of this! Sincerely Kimi.”

Raikkonen’s retirement will open up a seat at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 year. The crew has fielded the exact drivers’ lineup of Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for the previous a few seasons.

Raikkonen was relatively not known when he manufactured his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001 and scored details in his debut to promptly get consideration. He replaced Mika Hakkinen at McLaren in the 2002 year and received his first race the next year whilst ending 2nd in the championship.

He moved to Ferrari in 2007 and received his only championship, beating Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single level in the year finale.

Raikkonen took a two-year crack from F1 in 2010 and 2011, applying his time away to go after other racing formulation, like NASCAR. He ran in both equally the Truck Sequence and Xfinity Sequence at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2011.

Raikkonen credited his time away for renewing his passion for F1 and supporting to lengthen his vocation. The forty one-year-aged has 21 vocation victories, his final in 2018 at the United States Grand Prix when he was with Ferrari and concluded third in the championship standings.

Raikkonen concluded fourth at Interlagos in 2019 but has not been bigger than ninth considering that. He is scored two details this year, ending tenth in both equally Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Two-time F1 winner Hakkinen was the renowned Finnish driver ahead of his countryman Raikkonen came together.

“I raise my hat to Kimi and take pleasure in the power and strength he has experienced, and that he’s been equipped to push with System One particular for these a extended time,” Hakkinen explained in an interview with Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat. “The point that Kimi has ongoing for so extended is pretty incomprehensible and I definitely take pleasure in it.”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali also paid his tribute to Raikkonen, who turned an icon not just for nerveless driving that gained him the nickname “Iceman” but also for his monosyllabic, mumbled answers in information conferences.

“Kimi is an incredible portion of our sport, a particular friend and a legitimate winner. I experienced the privilege of functioning with him at Ferrari and know the great human being he is,” Domenicali explained. “We will all overlook him and his exceptional design and desire him and his household the finest for the potential.”

The aura of indifference manufactured him renowned and earmarked him as a exceptional character in a series replete with self-endorsing people.

Beneath Raikkonen’s cloak of indifference, even so, lay a focused qualified with a large function ethic and a wonderful eye for element a lot appreciated by race engineers who worked with him.

That view was echoed by Alfa Romeo crew principal Frederic Vasseur.

“His presence, his charisma and his exceptional attitude, matched with the innate ability that manufactured this crew give him a likelihood back in 2001, have manufactured him a legend of our sport in a way which figures and stats battle to convey,” Vasseur explained. “A driver like Kimi has published some indelible webpages of our team’s, and our sport’s, historical past.”


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