The news had been in the air for some time, but now it has become official: Kimi Raikkonen has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season.
The 2007 F1 world champion was expiring his contract with Alfa Romeo at the end of this championship and it was expected that he would want to leave the world of Grand Prix as the driver in the history of Formula 1 with the most starts (we got to 341 ).
The Finn made the decision official with an Instagram post published on Wednesday afternoon just before the weekend of the Dutch Grand Prix scheduled in Zandvoort.
“This will be my last season in Formula 1 – Raikkonen said -. It is a decision I made last winter. It was not an easy choice, but after this championship it is time to start new things”.
“Even though the season is still running, I want to thank my family, all my teams, all the people who have been involved in my career and most of all, all of you big fans who have been cheering for me all this time. “.
“Formula 1 will have to end for me, but there is so much more to life that I want to live and enjoy. We will see you again around! Best regards Kimi ”.
Raikkonen scored 21 wins, 18 pole positions and 46 fastest laps, scoring 103 podiums. Kimi made his debut with Sauber in 2001 and in 20 seasons he drove for McLaren, Ferrari (in two different moments), Lotus and Alfa Romeo which is then the return to Hinwil, the team that launched him.
At the end of the season, F1 will lose a very charismatic character who has conquered a large audience of fans for being nonconformist and of few words, often sharp. Driver endowed with an indisputable talent, as fast as he is superfine in his testing and fine-tuning skills, he will leave an important gap in the F1 grid.