Sebastian Vettel has conceded he will miss Kimi Raikkonen's trademark "silence" when the Finn calls time on his Formula 1 career at the end of the season.
Raikkonen has just two races remaining after announcing his retirement from racing at the end of the season in September, bringing to an end a career that began alongside Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya and Enrique Bernoldi in 2001.
The 2007 world champion stepped away from the sport for two years at the end of 2009 competing instead in the World Rally Championship but has otherwise been a mainstay of the paddock spending time at Sauber, now Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren.
“Will he be missed? Yes," assessed Vettel, Raikkonen's Ferrari team-mate of five years.
"I think he was a true character and I enjoyed the time that I had with him as a team-mate but to be fair, I got to know him already before.
"He is probably one of the very few drivers that I have met from day one until the present day that hasn’t changed in a sense that he has been very open, welcoming me as a young child or a young kid when I entered Formula 1.
“And at that time he was probably the most established Formula 1 driver, at least one of them.
“Great respect. I don’t think you can have an argument or a problem with Kimi. If you do, the problem is not him, the problem is you."
Reflective that time is a ticking clock for all drivers on the grid, Vettel added: "I think it is a natural thing.
"Time goes one way and at one point time comes for him, at some point time will come for me and at some point, time will come for Lando [Norris], even though that is a long way to go. It is probably the most natural thing.
“He is a great person and I am sure we will stay in touch so I wish him all the best and I will miss the silence.”
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