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Russell's twisted nipples and more memories - F1 drivers pay tribute to retiring Raikkonen

Russell's twisted nipples and more memories - F1 drivers pay tribute to retiring Raikkonen

F1 News

Russell's twisted nipples and more memories - F1 drivers pay tribute to retiring Raikkonen

Russell's twisted nipples and more memories - F1 drivers pay tribute to retiring Raikkonen

Formula 1 drivers have been paying tribute to 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn's announcement the current season will be his last.

Raikkonen joined the F1 grid in 2001 with Sauber before stints with McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus. In 2019, he rejoined Sauber, now Alfa Romeo after a second stint at Ferrari.

On Wednesday, the 41-year-old announced via Instagram his plan to retire at the end of the year and his on-track rivals have voiced widespread respect for the "legend" and "icon" that is Raikkonen.

He's a bit of a legend - George Russell

The first time I ever spoke to Kimi, the conversation ended with him twisting my nipples at the FIA Gala in 2018.

He's one of a kind. I've a huge amount of respect for everything he's achieved on track and off circuit as well, he's a bit of a legend, and he'll be missed. There's no one like him.

He just knew he was one of the most skilful - Lewis Hamilton

Racing is in his blood. He will be missed. I remember before F1 being a huge fan of Kimi and playing a computer game, I would always be in Kimi's car.

Kimi was one of the better drivers to go up against, tough but very fair and he just knew he was one of the most skilful drivers here.

He definitely earned his place - Sebastian Vettel

I wish him all the best. He has been around a long time and is an incredible talent.

Seeing that first hand as a team-mate for some years was impressive, just the amount of speed he has right from the get go and the ability to adapt to different conditions and different cars.

He definitely earned his place and had a long and great career.

I would love to emulate him one day - Lando Norris

Sadly, I've not had the interaction that George has had, but he's one of the guys that has made Formula 1 what it is today since many years ago.

He's obviously not the big talker so he'll not be missed by how much he says, but he has a lot of character, and also not much character at the same time, but so many love him because of that.

He'll be missed by many. He's still one of the best drivers to have been in Formula 1, achieved a lot of things, more than many of us drivers currently on the grid. One day I would love to emulate him in a way.

He had an impact on me as a youngster - Valtteri Bottas

As he said himself, nothing lasts forever, and eventually, there is time for something new. He has had an impressive and long career in Formula 1.

For sure, he had an impact on me as a youngster. I was following him closely when he started in Formula 1, following him when he won the world championship.

At that time, I was doing my first season in single-seaters in Formula Renault when he won his first title with Ferrari.

He is obviously a big star in Finland, a bit of a legend. It was always good fun to watch him, and it's also been nice racing with him.

He is one of the drivers when you race, you feel quite comfortable going wheel to wheel, and he has always had good respect to his competition, and that's the way I like racing as well.

Fair, respectful but tough - Fernando Alonso

As a competitor, yes, we will miss him because obviously, he has been [a rival] for many years and we had great battles in the past more because we had more competitive cars and we were fighting for championships and podiums and things like that.

Always fair, always respectful, always a tough competitor but old school so very fair and no tricks.

In that aspect, I think I will miss him because you knew that you could trust Kimi when you were side by side because he will never do any crazy thing or anything that will put in danger any of the two [drivers].

One of a kind - Daniel Ricciardo

He is one of the most popular drivers, has been for years and he has built a fanbase by doing very little other than on-track performances.

After 10 or 11 years in the sport, do I honestly know where I stand with Kimi? No, because there are very few words.

It is funny. One of a kind in the most complimentary way possible.

A very unique character - Sergio Perez

He can be extremely proud of what he has achieved in the sport. He has certainly enjoyed his time in the sport in his own way.

I think Kimi was a very unique character, a very unique person and I just wish him the very best in his next chapter of life and all the happiness that he deserves.

Such an iconic driver - Pierre Gasly

There is only one Kimi and I think he is very unique so clearly, he is going to be missed by all the people in the paddock. I remember my first memories of watching F1 from 2002-2003, Kimi was already there.

It has been pretty incredible to grow up year to year in karting watching all of these guys racing and Kimi was part of that.

Then I ended up in Formula 1 racing against him so I’m very privileged and for sure will miss such an iconic driver like him in the paddock.

I learned so many things from him - Antonio Giovinazzi

Kimi is really fair inside and outside of the track, no politics, a great team-mate and for me, he was a big help.

When I joined F1 to be his team-mate, I learned so many things from him, especially in the race, he is still very strong and the passion he has for this sport, after many years he is still motivated.

He is a great guy and for sure, F1 will miss him.

Definitely sad he is leaving - Mick Schumacher

When I heard the news it was obviously quite saddening because I was looking forward to driving for another year on the same grid as him.

But he's got family and wants to see something else other than Formula 1, which is understandable after so many, but definitely sad.

I remember the first time when we were in the same room for some time, which was in St Petersburg for the FIA Gala, and we all had a very good time, so yeah, definitely will miss those moments.

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