Kimi Raikkonen will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season, a decision he says he took last year.
“This is a decision I did during last winter,” his post continues. “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!”
Raikkonen has raced in Formula One since his debut for Sauber in 2001. He won the world drivers’ championship in 2007 but left the sport for two years following the 2009 season, before returning for Lotus in 2012.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said, in response to Raikkonen’s announcement, “Kimi is an incredible part of our sport, a personal friend and a true champion.
“I had the privilege of working with him at Ferrari and know the fantastic person he is. We will all miss him & his unique style and wish him and his family the best for the future.”
Speaking before the Belgian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said that without the two years he had spent in other motorsport, his F1 career would have been much shorter.
“At the end of 2009, I still enjoyed the racing, but the rest of it not,” Raikkonen said. “If you asked me that day, I wasn’t planning to come back, but things changed in two years and I raced in some other categories and ended up racing against the other people and I noticed how much I enjoyed it.
“So then obviously there was the option to come back and I ended up coming back, but for sure without the two years, I wouldn’t be here today. It depends on many things, obviously, from different years and teams and the people that you work with if you have fun or not.”
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