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Tributes flood in as Raikkonen calls time on F1 career

With Kimi Raikkonen announcing his retirement after two decades in Formula 1, there's been a huge outpouring of praise for the Finn from the motorsport community.

Kimi Raikkonen announced ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix that 2021 is to be his last year in Formula 1, spelling the end of a remarkable career that began in 2001 with the Sauber team. Over the years, Raikkonen has driven for the sport's behemoths. A move to replace double World Champion Mika Hakkinen at McLaren in 2002 shot Raikkonen to the top of the sport, but it wasn't until he moved to Ferrari in 2007 that the Finn finally reached the pinnacle by winning that year's World Championship. After two years experimenting with other motorsports while on hiatus from Formula 1, Raikkonen returned with Lotus to become a thorn in the side of Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, before a sensational return to Ferrari for the start of the hybrid era in 2014. Dropped by Ferrari at the end of 2018, Raikkonen returned back to where it all started for him by going back to Sauber, now known as Alfa Romeo, where he has seen out his career with three years of racing in the midfield. The unique character that is Kimi Raikkonen may have, on occasion, been a nightmare for his team's press officers and the sport's media and broadcasters, but the Finn won the hearts of millions around the world and those within the paddock. Here's some of the tributes that key motorsport figures have paid to the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.

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One world championship, and hundreds and hundreds of laughs 😂 So many funny memories with Kimi! #F1 pic.twitter.com/3XQlluUKU8 — Formula 1 (@F1) September 1, 2021

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Kiitos, Kimi. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xVpfIKoDKY — Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) September 1, 2021

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This is a gesture I'll never forget. Thank you, Kimi. An absolute legend of our sport...all the best for what's coming next 🙏 Enjoy the time with your family! CC: @F1 pic.twitter.com/OncjlMzukA — Nico Rosberg (@NicoRosberg) September 1, 2021

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I’ll miss him. Quality guy, no bs, naturally gifted, and a champion driver. He even looked special in our SkyF1 features on a lawnmower and hovercraft. Have fun Kimi. https://t.co/OpDhEDqRzV — Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) September 2, 2021

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In the history of @F1 you left a mark that few others have. I’ll always be grateful for having had the privilege of being your teammate. Thank you, Maestro 🙏 #Kimi7 #Raikkonen pic.twitter.com/xzf671WENQ — Antonio Giovinazzi (@Anto_Giovinazzi) September 1, 2021

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It has been a big pleasure and privilege working with you at @ScuderiaFerrari Kimi. We will make the most of watching you race in this @f1 season pic.twitter.com/nYHvvxv9z9 — Marc Gené (@marc_gene) September 1, 2021

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Legend. @F1 will definitely not be the same without Kimi. Proud to be able to say I’ve raced against him #F1 https://t.co/9QWqlOwZ6g — Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) September 1, 2021

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What an absolute legend. Kimi, you will be sorely missed. F1 will not be the same without you. Thank you for your skill, your humour and for your radio messages. But mostly, thank you for your kindness x pic.twitter.com/QjTnwiMgfS — Nathalie McGloin (@nathaliemcgloin) September 1, 2021

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So many good memories together ❤️ #Kimi7 Let’s enjoy the remainder of the season 👊 #essereFerrari 🔴 pic.twitter.com/6UZUythZpi — Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 1, 2021

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