Kimi Raikkonen to retire from F1 at the end of the season

The Formula 1 world was shaken up last night, September 1, with an unexpected piece of news; the announcement by Alfa Romeo driver, Kimi Raikkonen, that this was going to be his last Formula One World Championship. 

At age 41 and after 19 campaigns competing in Formula One, the fast and eclectic Finn, who reached the glory with an unexpected but highly deserved world title in 2007 with Ferrari , has decided to abandon the sport. What a real legend is leaving!

True to his style, the Scandinavian announced his farewell on his official Instagram account with the following message: 

“This is it, This will be my last season in Formula 1. This is a decision I did during last winter. It was not an easy decision but after this season it is time for new things”.

“Even though the season is still on, I want to thank my family, all my teams, everyone involved in my racing career and especially all of you great fans that have been rooting for me all this time.

“Formula 1 might come to an end for me but there is a lot more in life that I want to experience and enjoy. See you around after all of this.”

‘Iceman’ has been playing a crucial role since he arrived in Alfa Romeo in 2019, and so the team led by Frédéric Vasseur had placed its fate in his hands for the upcoming season. The decision to compete in Formula 1 for one more season or to rather hang his helmet and gloves for good at the end of the year can only have been Raikkonen’s alone.

Beyond his extensive collection of trophies, Raikkonen has always stood out for his ‘unique’ personality. Gifted with a citrusy character, the Espoo-born racer leaves us some unforgettable moments on and off the track. It is his rebelliousness and spontaneity that have earned him a legion of fans, who will be very sad today. 

Iceman: Few words, many smiles

Nicknamed “Iceman” for his cold and distant ways outside of the car, this Formula One figure became an icon of the speciality. Allergic to interviews, he was famous for his monosyllabic and unorthodox responses. 

Raikkonen was an admirer of James Hunt, another great rebel and world champion like him, and was also known for taking part in some famous ‘parties’ and committing some alcoholic excesses. Despite this, he will leave a hard-to-fill void in a sport dominated by political correctness and bland responses.

Regardless of his sometimes ‘difficult character‘, his great talent behind the wheel is unquestionable. During his long F1 career, which started at the 2001 Australian GP, Kimi Raikkonen has taken part in 342 Grands Prix, more than any other driver in the history of the speciality. 
Across his 19 seasons at Sauber, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari, he has claimed 21 victories, 103 podiums, 18 pole positions, 46 fastest laps and the 2007 title with Ferrari as well as two runners-up in 2003 and 2005. 

Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement in Alfa Romeo  

Kimi Raikkonen’s departure leaves an unexpected vacancy in Alfa Romeo. At this point, everything points to Valtteri Bottas to become his replacement.

After five years at Mercedes (2017-21) where he has been unable to fulfil the expectations placed on him, he could finally be leaving the team of the star. His departure from Mercedes is pretty much a done deal following the signing of George Russell with the German team for 2022, where this will form a couple with his compatriot Lewis Hamilton.

Images of Kimi Raikkonen: Alfa Romeo Racing.

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