The curtain falls of what has been an absolutely incredible 2021 Formula One season as the teams and drivers prepare for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
For the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One team however, not only is it the end of the season but the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the end of an era for the Swiss-based outfit as, after three seasons together they say goodbye to both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
While Antonio will embark on a new chapter in his racing career making his ABB FIA Formula E race debut with Dragon Penske, Kimi will call time on what has been a tremendous career for the Iceman which resulted in him winning the 2007 Formula One world championship with Ferrari.
Speaking ahead of his last Formula One Grand Prix, Raikkonen said:
It’s the last race of the season and, this time, the last race of my career, but I don’t think too much about it. Of course, I know it will feel different once I cross the finish line and I know this chapter of my life is closed, but once I am in the cockpit, it will be a race like any other. I want to finish this experience with a good result, for myself and for the team, and I also want to enjoy this weekend with my family and my friends, who will be with me to say goodbye to Formula One.
For Antonio Giovinazzi it is for now at least, the end of his Formula One journey and speaking and speaking ahead of the race this weekend the Italian said:
I approach Abu Dhabi full of confidence after such a good race in Jeddah. I wanted a result like that before the end of the season to show what I can do, to show that I have not given up and that I will keep on fighting until the final chequered flag; now I want another strong race to finish my three years with the team well. I owe it to all those who believe in me and keep supporting me and I owe it to myself, to finish the season with the result I know I can deliver. It will be an interesting weekend and I’m ready for it.
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team Principal and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG Frederic Vasseur commented saying:
The final race of the season is always a special moment, even more so this year when we head into some drastic changes, both within and without the team. We will obviously want to celebrate and honour Kimi and Antonio and their contribution to our team and the sport, but we also need to focus on the race weekend: there’s a job to finish and we need to be fully committed to it until the final lap of the race, giving everything we have for a good result. Finishing with a strong performance would be a huge boost for the whole team as we head into the winter.