ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Iceman is at last retiring, bringing the curtain down on a exclusive career in Formula One particular history.

But not for a handful of months still.

Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the finish of the time, concluding a career that spanned two a long time and included the 2007 planet championship.

Raikkonen is in the closing 12 months of his contract with Alfa Romeo. The Finn introduced his departure on Instagram on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

“This is it. This will be my last time in Formula one,” Raikkonen wrote. “This is a selection I did through last winter season. It was not an uncomplicated selection but after this time it is time for new things.

“Formula one may occur to an finish for me but there is a whole lot more in existence that I want to experience and love. See you all-around after all of this! Sincerely Kimi.”

Raikkonen’s retirement will open a seat at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 time. The workforce has fielded the similar drivers’ lineup of Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for the earlier three seasons.

Raikkonen was rather not known when he made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001 and scored factors in his debut to speedily obtain notice. He replaced Mika Hakkinen at McLaren in the 2002 time and won his very first race the up coming 12 months even though finishing second in the championship.

He moved to Ferrari in 2007 and won his only championship, beating Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a one point in the time finale.

Raikkonen took a two-12 months crack from F1 in 2010 and 2011, employing his time absent to pursue other racing formulas, together with NASCAR. He ran in each the Truck Series and Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2011.

Raikkonen credited his time absent for renewing his enthusiasm for F1 and encouraging to prolong his career. The forty one-12 months-aged has 21 career victories, his last in 2018 at the United States Grand Prix when he was with Ferrari and finished 3rd in the championship standings.

Raikkonen finished fourth at Interlagos in 2019 but has not been bigger than ninth considering that. He is scored two factors this 12 months, finishing tenth in each Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Two-time F1 winner Hakkinen was the well-known Finnish driver before his countryman Raikkonen arrived alongside.

“I raise my hat to Kimi and take pleasure in the power and strength he has experienced, and that he’s been equipped to drive with Formula One particular for these types of a very long time,” Hakkinen explained in an job interview with Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat. “The fact that Kimi has continued for so very long is very incomprehensible and I genuinely take pleasure in it.”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali also compensated his tribute to Raikkonen, who grew to become an icon not just for nerveless driving that gained him the nickname “Iceman” but also for his monosyllabic, mumbled solutions in information conferences.

“Kimi is an amazing element of our sport, a private buddy and a correct winner. I experienced the privilege of operating with him at Ferrari and know the superb particular person he is,” Domenicali explained. “We will all miss out on him and his exclusive type and desire him and his family members the very best for the long term.”

The aura of indifference made him well-known and earmarked him as a exclusive character in a collection replete with self-selling characters.

Beneath Raikkonen’s cloak of indifference, on the other hand, lay a committed professional with a massive do the job ethic and a wonderful eye for detail a lot appreciated by race engineers who worked with him.

That check out was echoed by Alfa Romeo workforce principal Frederic Vasseur.

“His existence, his charisma and his exclusive frame of mind, matched with the innate talent that made this workforce give him a prospect back again in 2001, have made him a legend of our sport in a way which numbers and statistics wrestle to convey,” Vasseur explained. “A driver like Kimi has penned some indelible webpages of our team’s, and our sport’s, history.”

___

A lot more AP vehicle racing