Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen retires from Formula 1 at the end of the season and 41-year-old Finn reveals: ‘It was not an easy decision, but after this season it is time for new things’
- Kimi Raikkonen has taken time for his F1 career after a career spanning 20 years
- The Finn claimed his first and only world title with Ferrari in 2007
- Last year, the 41-year-old Finnish racer broke the record for most F1 starts
Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
The 41-year-old, who claimed his first and only Ferrari driver’s title in 2007, has spent the past three years with Alfa Romeo and will leave the sport after the calendar’s final race in Abu Dhabi in December.
Last year, the Finnish racer broke the record for the most F1 starts, revealing in a post on Instagram that he had come to a decision a long time ago.
Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
‘This is it. This will be my last season in Formula 1. This is a decision (sic) I made last winter,” Raikkonen said.
“It was not an easy decision (sic) but after this season it is time for new things. While the season is still underway, I would like to thank my family, all my teams, everyone involved in my racing career and most of all you amazing fans who have rooted for me all along.
“Formula 1 may be coming to an end for me, but there is much more to life that I want to experience and enjoy. See you after all this! Sincerely Kimi.’
Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first and only world title with Ferrari in 2007
Raikkonen made his F1 debut in 2001 and within two years had become a title contender, finishing second to Michael Schumacher before Fernando Alonso led him to the championship in 2005.
The Espoo-born driver finally got his crown in the 2007 season, beating old team McLaren and their drivers Alonso and Lewis Hamilton to become world champions for the first time.
It would prove to be Raikkonen’s only title success and he tried his hand at the 2011 and 2012 World Rally Championships before returning to F1.
The 41-year-old Finnish racer has spent the past three years in F1 with Alfa Romeo
Lotus offered the former world champion a ride and Ferrari called again in 2014, with the Finn ending his time with the Italian manufacturer four years later with another win at the United States Grand Prix, ending his 113 race waiting for another triumph.
Alfa Romeo enabled Raikkonen to continue his F1 journey into his forties, where he took the most starts at the Eifel Grand Prix last October with his 323rd.
He has since expanded his record to 341 ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, taking the Scandinavian straight home.
Team Alfa Romeo said on Twitter: ‘Truly the end of an era for our sport. Thanks for everything, F1 won’t be the same without you. Kiitos, Kimi.’