The news had been in the air for some time, but yesterday it became official: Kimi Raikkonen announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season. With a post on Instagram, the 41-year-old Finnish driver made official his decision to close with the world F1 at the end of this year. Kimi hangs up his helmet after 20 GP seasons and after becoming World Champion in 2007.
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Raikkonen collected 21 wins, 18 pole positions and 46 fastest laps, conquering 103 podiums. He made his debut with Sauber in 2001 and in 20 seasons he drove for McLaren, Ferrari (in two different moments), Lotus and Alfa Romeo, the team that launched him.
“I’ve been a long time here,” - he explained during today's media session in Zandvoort - “Luckily I would say that F1 it’s never been my life in a way – it takes a lot, lot of time from our lives. But it’s never been, let’s say, the main thing in my life, I was living my life outside doing normal things and so on that hand it’s fun.”
Ahead of the Dutch GP, Kimi Raikkonen said he has “no plans” for his future yet, he just wants to enjoy his family and dedicate to his wife and kids the precious time that you usually haven't while travelling the world.
“I don’t want to have some schedule put on, because obviously the last 18, 19 years in F1 since I started and I did rally in those two years, there was always a schedule, always what is coming next and what is this date, on that date. So I don’t want that.
“That’s for sure one of the big reasons why I want to also do something else. The life doesn’t go because of the race or whatever it is, the work that is involved in F1. There’s other schedules – family, the kids’ schools and kindergartens and that stuff." he said.
“But I also don’t want that the family life is dictated by when is the race or test or whatever, the flight to the next work. So I’m not in a rush, not even thought about it at all yet.”
His decision to retire was not taken recently as he stated: “I’ve known this situation for quite a while. There’s always the opportunities to do this or do that. But right now I’m not interested to even think about.”