Espoo [Finland], September 2 (ANI): Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen has announced he will hang up his helmet and gloves and call time on an illustrious Formula One career at the end of the season.
The Finn, who won the world title in 2007 and will be 42 at the end of the season, made his debut in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix with Sauber. He returned to the outfit that became Alfa Romeo, with whom his deal expires at the end of this season, for 2019.
Alfa Romeo have yet to confirm their plans for 2021 with both seats open, and on the eve of the returning Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Raikkonen revealed 2021 would be the final race of his career.
"This is it. This will be my last season in Formula 1. This is a decision I did during last winter. It was not an easy decision but after this season it is time for new things," Raikkonen said on Instagram as per Formula One website.
"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," he added.
After a debut year at Sauber, Raikkonen spent five years with McLaren, before moving to Ferrari for three campaigns. It was here that he won his one and only world title, pipping Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at the final race in Brazil in 2007.
After a two-year sabbatical from F1, when he went rallying, he returned with Lotus for two seasons before a second stint at Ferrari that lasted five years. He then joined Alfa Romeo for what will ultimately be three campaigns.
Raikkonen has struggled for form this season and currently lies 17th in the drivers' standings, having scored just two points. (ANI)