Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team’s Kimi Raikkonen is reportedly set to announce his retirement from the sport, that is the claim of French broadcaster Canal+ who are reporting that the Iceman who began his career with the Sauber F1 Team in 2001 will make the announcement ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza circuit which takes place from September 10-12.
Canal + is also reporting that Valtteri Bottas who is currently racing for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team will be confirmed as Raikkonen’s replacement at the Hinwil-based outfit paving the way for the Mercedes team to announce George Russell as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate in 2022.
It has also been reported that Williams Racing are keen to sign recent DTM race winner Alexander Albon as Bottas’ replacement alongside Nicholas Latifi for next season however, Paddock Eye understands that any such deal would necessitate Red Bull to release Albon from his contract.
As far as Kimi Raikkonen is concerned both he and the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team have endured a very difficult season to date in 2021 with the pair having scored just two points to date this season with the team currently occupying ninth place in the Constructors championship.
It is believed that while the Iceman reached the decision by himself that Alfa Romeo Racing were looking to change at least one of their drivers for next season ahead of the introduction of the new regulations.
Raikkonen has scored 21 Formula One victories throughout his career and taken 103 podiums and famously won the championship with Ferrari by one point in his first season with the team in 2007. Since making his debut, Raikkonen has made 341 Grand Prix race starts in his illustrious career and has driven alongside the likes of Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
The Finn took a break from Formula One from 2010 to 2012, returning to the sport with the Lotus F1 Team in 2012 taking two wins in Australia and Abu Dhabi where he famously said:
‘Leave Me Alone, I Know What I am Doing’
Should the report from Canal+ prove to be correct, it is unclear what the Iceman will do next. Paddock Eye was fortunate enough to interview the Finn last season, the link for which can be found here