After 19 active seasons, Kimi-Matias Räikkönen leaves Formula 1 permanently. The Finnish driver will leave his position at Alfa Romeo, the last of the five teams he has competed for since his debut in 2001.
Kimi Räikkönen is the driver with the most Grand Prix disputed in the history of Formula 1, but at the end of 2021 he will definitely leave the category, according to the driver himself has announced on his official Instagram account.
After his debut in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, Räikkönen has contested 342 Formula 1 Grand Prix spread over 19 seasons, having been absent in 2010 and 2011. Now, the 2007 world champion is preparing his farewell to the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi next December, when he will already be 42 years old.
Kimi Räikkönen was dubbed 'The Iceman' for his aloof and cold character outside the car, although inside the car he was one of the most aggressive drivers during the first half of his racing career.
The still Alfa Romeo driver has raced for five teams, Sauber; McLaren; Ferrari; Lotus and the aforementioned Alfa Romeo , achieving a total of 21 victories, 18 pole positions, 46 fastest laps, 103 podiums and 1865 points.
His departure leaves a vacancy in the Italian-Swiss team. This will most likely be occupied by Valtteri Bottas , who will join the formation led by Frédéric Vasseur after five seasons at Mercedes.
"This is all. This will be my last season in Formula 1 ” , Kimi Räikkönen has communicated on Instagram. This is a decision I made last winter. It was not an easy decision but after this season it is time for new things.
"Although the season is still underway, I want to thank my family, all my teams, everyone involved in my sports career and especially all of you, great fans, who have supported me all this time."
“Formula 1 may come to an end for me, but there is so much more to life that I want to experience and enjoy . See you after all this! Sincerely, Kimi, "he concluded.