Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1
After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.
As the laps ticked down in Abu Dhabi towards the controversial, farcical finish to the Formula 1 season, the fan-voted ‘driver of the day’ was already out of the race. Kimi Raikkonen’s 349th and final grand prix start came to a premature end at Yas Marina after a wheelnut issue following his pitstop forced him to retire less than halfway through. It left him to complete his media pen commitments – reluctantly, on instruction from the FIA – before skulking away for a low-key end to his F1 career.
Over 20 years has passed since Raikkonen made his F1 debut with Sauber as a kid just out of Formula Renault, one many wrote off as not being ready to race at the highest level. He went on to win 21 races spanning more than 15 years, and is still Ferrari’s most recent world champion in 2007, establishing himself as one of the greats of his generation.
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