Raikkonen compares retirement to his initial exit from Formula One

Kimi Raikkonen has retired from Formula One for the second time, after leaving at the end of the 2009 season and returning two years later. This time, the Finn believes, things are extremely different.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has described why his departure from Formula One is so different from his prior retirements.

Despite having a contract to race in 2010, Raikkonen and Ferrari parted ways at the end of the 2009 season, and the Finn left F1 to pursue rallying and other motorsport categories.

Raikkonen returns to the grid with Lotus after a two-year break. Between 2014 and 2018, he raced for Ferrari a second time, before finishing his Formula One career with three years at Alfa Romeo.

Raikkonen raced in his final race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and he revealed before of the race that his choice to leave F1 this year is quite different from his previous exit.

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“I think [there are an] endless amount of [differences],” Raikkonen told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

“Obviously, I have [a] family, I have reasons to be home. This [is] completely different in many ways. Obviously, it’s different circumstances. I’m [at a] different point in my life.”

Wouldn’t have bet on F1 return

Raikkonen’s earlier decision to retire from Formula One at the end of 2009 was followed by a two-year gap.

The 42-year-old, though, acknowledges that he did not expect to return.

“If somebody would [have] said to me that I need to bet money [on] if I come back, I wouldn’t have put any money on it,” Raikkonen explained.

“It wasn’t in my mind to come back. But then obviously, for many different reasons I ended up back.”

Raikkonen has no regrets in his long career in Formula One.

“I have nothing to complain [about],” the 2007 World Champion said.

“I [had] a good run. And certainly, I wouldn’t change a single thing, even if it would mean more wins or more championships. I’m happy with what I achieved. I can’t complain.”

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