Kimi Raikkonen has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season. The Finnish driver says he made the decision last winter. The Finn, who won the world championship in 2007, the last champion of the world of Ferrari, has announced its decision on Instagram.
“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,” writes the Alfa Romeo driver. Often nicknamed “Iceman” for his calm and his little taste for interviews, Raikkonen will be 42 years old on October 17th. He is the current F1 veteran, older than the 40-year-old Spaniard Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion.
Raikkonen became world champion in 2007 in his first year at Ferrari. When he gives his farewell performance at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi in December, the long-running favorite will be 42 years old. The racing driver, who likes to remain silent and at least as happy to celebrate, will certainly not be the only thing missing from the fans.
Raikkonen is unique, no driver like any other, a very special episode of his career is spread over nine pages of the biography “The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen” published in 2018. The chapter is called “16 days” and is about a real alcohol marathon.
Raikkonen stopped drinking on a Monday and finished third in the Spanish Grand Prix the following Sunday. It was one of 103 podium places in 344 races to date, and he has achieved 21 Grand Prix victories. In 2007 Raikkonen inherited Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and became world champion in the first year. Since then, the Scuderia has been waiting for the driver’s title.
“Iceman” Raikkonen entered the premier class with Sauber in 2001 and finished sixth at its premiere in Melbourne / Australia. McLaren bought the silent man out of his contract only one year later, in 2003 and 2005 Raikkonen narrowly missed the title, two years later came the coronation – as a result, however, he lost noticeably motivation.
Return to Formula 1
At the end of 2009, he turned his back on Ferrari for the first time a year before the end of his contract and received a princely reward for his early departure. After two years in the World Rally Championship – he was without a podium and only won one special stage (in Germany) – Raikkonen returned to Formula 1. No more than the best, but he was still good enough to win for Lotus and for Ferrari in his second engagement until the end of 2018.
Raikkonen was probably at the top for the last time on October 21, 2018 in Austin / Texas, where he triumphed in a Ferrari ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. He has been driving for Alfa Romeo since 2019, and Raikkonen is currently 17th with two championship points.
“It was not an easy decision,” wrote Raikkonen, but it was “time for something new. Even if the season is still going, I want my family, all my teams, everyone involved in my racing career, and above all, everyone great Thank you fans who have supported me all along. ” His post contained 13 photos, in the middle one of the 2007 World Cup triumph.
Although his time in Formula 1 will end, according to Raikkonen, “there is a lot more in life that I want to experience and enjoy.” And it is well known that he can enjoy.