Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone believes the championship will be at a huge loss with the retirement of Kimi Raikkonen, with most drivers becoming “robotic” in recent years. The 2007 world champion was a firm fan favourite with his straight-shooting style and honest nature.
The Finn didn’t shy away from his distaste for PR and media duties and would often be vocal about his opinions on and off track, with short and sharp responses.
But after securing his name in the history books over his long-spanning career, at 42, he announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2021 season.
According to the former F1 supremo, however, Raikkonen is the last of a dying breed of F1 drivers.
“Kimi, as a person, is a super guy,” Ecclestone told sport1.de.
“As a driver, he’s a race driver. He’s what you want: he races [and] doesn’t take an awful lot of notice of people. In fact, he gives them his opinion.
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“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 One 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.”
Raikkonen spent the final few races treating fans to his cheeky sense of humour and witty responses, but when reflecting on if he will miss F1, the Finn admitted to BILD