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Monday, September 20, 2021

Kimi Raikkonen to retire from System 1 at finish of 2021 season

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The 2007 F1 world champion, Raikkonen was out of contract with Alfa Romeo on the finish of the yr and broadly anticipated to go away the workforce.

The Finn has now confirmed he can be leaving F1 on the finish of the season, calling time on a profession within the collection spanning over 20 years.

Raikkonen revealed the information on Instagram on Wednesday night forward of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

“That is it. This can be my final season in System 1,” Raikkonen stated.

“This can be a resolution I did throughout final winter. It was not a straightforward resolution however after this season it’s time for brand spanking new issues.

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“Although the season remains to be on, I need to thank my household, all my groups, everybody concerned in my racing profession and particularly all of you nice followers which have been rooting for me all this time.

“System 1 may come to an finish for me however there may be much more in life that I need to expertise and revel in. See you round in any case of this! Sincerely Kimi.”

Raikkonen’s retirement opens up a coveted seat at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season, which appears to be like set to be stuffed by present Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas ought to he get replaced by George Russell for subsequent yr.

Alfa Romeo is but to verify whether or not Raikkonen’s team-mate, Antonio Giovinazzi, will return for subsequent season, having run an unchanged line-up for the previous three years.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001 as a relatively-unknown racer who had jumped up from System Renault, however scored factors on debut and rapidly established himself as one of many brightest younger abilities on the grid.

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 celebrates his victory

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Raikkonen changed Mika Hakkinen at McLaren for the 2002 season, and took his maiden victory the next yr as he completed second within the championship.

A transfer to Ferrari in 2007 yielded his first world title, pipping Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single level in a dramatic Brazil finale, however he would wrestle to achieve such heights once more.

A two-year break from F1 in 2010 and 2011 noticed Raikkonen dip his toe into different ventures, akin to rallying and even NASCAR. It helped renew his ardour for racing in F1, with Raikkonen lengthy crediting the break as being instrumental to his profession persevering with for so long as it did.

Raikkonen returned with Lotus in 2012 and scored two wins for the workforce, however left the cash-strapped outfit two races earlier than the top of the 2013 season to endure again surgical procedure forward of a return to Ferrari.

After a gradual begin to life again at Maranello, Raikkonen’s kind steadily improved, paving the way in which for his first victory in over 5 years on the 2018 United States Grand Prix en route to 3rd place in that yr’s championship.

Ferrari’s resolution to signal Charles Leclerc for 2019 resulted in Raikkonen returning to Sauber, the place his F1 profession had began, albeit beneath the Alfa Romeo identify.

He recorded a finest race end for the workforce of fourth at Interlagos 2019, however has didn’t cross the road any greater than ninth since then after seeing Alfa Romeo’s kind take a dip. To date this season, Raikkonen has scored two factors, ending tenth in each Azerbaijan and Hungary.

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