Kimi Raikkonen will retire from Formula One after season, ending a two-decade career

Kimi Raikkonen retire
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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the end of the Formula One season, concluding a career that spanned two decades and included the 2007 world championship.

Raikkonen is in the final year of his contract with Alfa Romeo. The Finn announced his departure on Instagram on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

“This is it. This will be my last season in Formula 1,” Raikkonen wrote. “This is a decision I did during last winter. It was not an easy decision but after this season it is time for new things.

“Formula 1 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! Sincerely Kimi.”

Raikkonen’s retirement will open a seat at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season. The team has fielded the same lineup of Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for the past three seasons.

Giovinazzi congratulated his teammate on Twitter.

Raikkonen was relatively unknown when he made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001 and scored points in his debut to quickly gain attention. He replaced Mika Hakkinen at McLaren in the 2002 season and won his first race the next year while finishing second in the championship.

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

Raikkonen took a two-year break from F1 in 2010 and 2011, using his time away to pursue other racing formulas, including NASCAR. He ran in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2011.

Raikkonen credited his time away for renewing his passion for F1 and helping to extend his career. The 41-year-old has 21 career victories, his last in 2018 at the United States Grand Prix when he was with Ferrari and finished third in the championship standings.

Raikkonen finished fourth at Interlagos in 2019 but has not been higher than ninth since. He’s scored two points this year, finishing 10th in both Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”