Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen says he is “happy to resume a normal life” after retiring from Formula 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen bid farewell to Formula 1 during the end of season round at the Yas Marina circuit, in the presence of his family, but was forced out of the race after just 23 laps.
Retirement ended a career that featured a record 349 starts, 21 wins and the 2007 world title.
“It’s nice to see so many people showing their appreciation, even though the race didn’t go as we hoped,” said RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen.
âWe had a problem after the pit stop, a technical problem that made us finish earlier.
âIt’s racing, sometimes things fail, but the result doesn’t influence what I think about my career.
âI am happy to move on to a normal life, I look forward to it. Of course, I will miss a lot of the great people I have met over the years; 20 years have gone by quickly, I made a lot of memories, some good, some bad, and these will stay with me forever.
His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, who is leaving Alfa Romeo and Formula 1, also did not finish the race, marking his first early exit of the season.
“It’s a shame to end the season like this, the first retirement after a full season of finishing,” he said.
âIt was an emotional day overall, seeing Kimi retire and seeing what the team has done for us. He’s a great person, very fair and he will be missed by all of F1.
âAs for me, I hope it’s just a ‘see you soon’: I’m now fully focusing on Formula E, but I hope to be back next year. I’m happy with my journey, the way I’ve progressed over the years, I’ve given everything I can.