It was a bittersweet end from the Scuderia Ferrari outfit for Kimi Raikkonen as he climbed out of his car on the sixth lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene was disappointed with the race result, but remained praising of the Finn, who has spent eight years under the red banner.
“Kimi deserved a better result from today’s race,” said Arrivabene. “But the send off he was given by the guys, as he drove out of the garage was a lovely moment.”
Despite the retirement, Raikkonen hung on to third in the championship with 251 points, his largest points tally to date. The second half of the season had been notable for Kimi, outscoring teammate Sebastian Vettel, who came home in second place, just over two seconds behind eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“As from Tuesday , we take part in the tyre test,” continued Arrivabene. “[It] is the first step for next season and the entire team, both at the track and back in Maranello, will be giving their utmost once again in 2019. My heartfelt thanks goes to all of them, to our sponsors, our fans and customers, who have always supported us.”
The first day of the tyre test saw Vettel top the timing screen with a time of 1:36.812. The day was not without incident though as Vettel spun at the first corner, hitting the barriers early on. It would only be a minor set back as the team prepare to run Charles Leclerc for his Ferrari debut in the coming days.