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Kimi Raikkonen retires from final race for Ferrari

Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen stops after his car's failure during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on November 25, 2018, in Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen stops after his car's failure during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on November 25, 2018, in Abu Dhabi.
Image: Luca Bruno / various sources / AFP

Kimi Raikkonen retired from his last Formula One race with Ferrari on Sunday, his car losing power and coasting to a halt on the main straight after just seven laps of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“What’s happening? I don’t have power,” exclaimed the 2007 world champion, who is moving to Sauber next season, before parking up.

The 39-year-old Finn, who had started in fourth place and alongside team mate Sebastian Vettel, stepped out of the car and walked back to the paddock with his helmet on as the virtual safety car was deployed.

Raikkonen still finished third in the championship, with Mercedes rival and compatriot Valtteri Bottas failing to take advantage.

“Obviously I’m a bit disappointed. It’s not the way we wanted this last race together to finish,” said Raikkonen.

“We wanted to do well and I think we would have had a pretty good car for the job. Unfortunately, we had an electrical issue; in the back straight, I felt I was lacking power and then everything shut down.”

The retirement brought down the curtain on what has otherwise been a stand-out season for Formula One’s oldest current driver.

Raikkonen’s win in Austin, Texas, in October ended a winless run of 113 races dating back to victory with Lotus in Australia in March 2013, and he has been on the podium 12 times in 21 races.

The Finn ends the season as Ferrari’s most recent champion, their latest race winner and last driver to take a pole position.

“It’s been a pretty decent season, but the four retirements were not in our plans and obviously did not help; we wanted more for sure,” he said, thanking Ferrari fans for their support over the years.

“We went through good and bad times together...of course, we wanted a better finish, but that’s part of the sport. We will always have the memories of winning the drivers’ championship and two constructors’ championships together.”

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