Former world champion announces F1 retirement

3 weeks ago 12
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The Iceman is yet retiring, bringing the curtain down connected 1 of the astir unsocial careers successful Formula One history.

But not for a fewer months yet.

Kimi Raikkonen volition discontinue astatine the extremity of the season, concluding a vocation that spanned 2 decades and included the 2007 satellite championship.

Raikkonen is successful the last twelvemonth of his declaration with Alfa Romeo. The Finn announced his departure connected Instagram connected Wednesday up of this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix astatine Zandvoort.

"This is it. This volition beryllium my past play successful Formula 1," Raikkonen wrote. "This is simply a determination I did during past winter. It was not an casual determination but aft this play it is clip for caller things.

Kimi Raikkonen volition discontinue astatine the extremity of the 2021 season. (Getty)

"Formula 1 mightiness travel to an extremity for maine but determination is simply a batch much successful beingness that I privation to acquisition and enjoy. See you astir aft each of this! Sincerely Kimi."

Raikkonen's status volition unfastened a spot astatine Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season. The squad has fielded the aforesaid drivers' lineup of Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for the past 3 seasons.

Raikkonen was comparatively chartless erstwhile helium made his F1 debut with Sauber successful 2001 and scored points successful his debut to rapidly summation attention. He replaced Mika Hakkinen astatine McLaren successful the 2002 play and won his archetypal contention the adjacent twelvemonth portion finishing 2nd successful the championship.

He moved to Ferrari successful 2007 and won his lone championship, beating Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a azygous constituent successful the play finale.

Raikkonen took a two-year interruption from F1 successful 2010 and 2011, utilizing his clip distant to prosecute different racing formulas, including NASCAR. He ran successful some the Truck Series and Xfinity Series astatine Charlotte Motor Speedway successful 2011.

Kimi Raikkonen won a satellite title for Ferrari. (AAP )

Raikkonen credited his clip distant for renewing his passionateness for F1 and helping to widen his career. The 41-year-old has 21 vocation victories, his past successful 2018 astatine the United States Grand Prix erstwhile helium was with Ferrari and finished 3rd successful the title standings.

Raikkonen finished 4th astatine Interlagos successful 2019 but has not been higher than ninth since. He's scored 2 points this year, finishing 10th successful some Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Two-time F1 champion Hakkinen was the celebrated Finnish operator earlier his countryman Raikkonen came along.

"I rise my chapeau to Kimi and admit the vigor and spot helium has had, and that he's been capable to thrust with Formula One for specified a agelong time," Hakkinen said successful an interrogation with Finnish paper Ilta-Sanomat. "The information that Kimi has continued for truthful agelong is rather incomprehensible and I truly admit it."

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali besides paid his tribute to Raikkonen, who became an icon not conscionable for nerveless driving that earned him the nickname "Iceman" but besides for his monosyllabic, mumbled answers successful quality conferences.

"Kimi is an unthinkable portion of our sport, a idiosyncratic person and a existent champion. I had the privilege of moving with him astatine Ferrari and cognize the fantastic idiosyncratic helium is," Domenicali said. "We volition each miss him and his unsocial benignant and privation him and his household the champion for the future."

The aura of indifference made him celebrated and earmarked him arsenic a unsocial quality successful a bid replete with self-promoting characters.

Beneath Raikkonen's cloak of indifference, however, laic a dedicated nonrecreational with a immense enactment ethic and a good oculus for item overmuch appreciated by contention engineers who worked with him.

That presumption was echoed by Alfa Romeo squad main Frederic Vasseur.

"His presence, his charisma and his unsocial attitude, matched with the innate accomplishment that made this squad springiness him a accidental backmost successful 2001, person made him a fable of our athletics successful a mode which numbers and statistic conflict to convey," Vasseur said. "A operator similar Kimi has written immoderate indelible pages of our team's, and our sport's, history."

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