The first blocks of the driver transfer market have fallen...
...and it came at the most unexpected weekend.
This weekend plays host to the Dutch Grand Prix, the first since 1985, at the historical track in Zandvoort, which has had plenty of changes, including banked corners, not being seen for quite some time, and are making a return.
But that's not even the biggest news that's come from the paddock. Long-time F1 driver and fan favourite Kimi Raikkonen announced his resignation on Instagram on Wednesday.
Kimi Raikkonen is pictured here giving his fans a wave. | Credit: F1.com
He put the following caption: "This will be my last season in Formula 1. This is a decision I did during last winter. It was not an easy decision but after this season it is time for new things. Even though the season is still on, I want to thank my family, all my teams, everyone involved in my racing career and especially all of you great fans that have been rooting for me all this time.". You can view the full post here.
The Iceman, as he is affectionately known, has competed in over 300 races, with that figure being around 350 by the end of the season, with 21 wins to his name, the most recent being an amazing show in the 2018 US Grand Prix, and he won the 2007 World Championship with a stellar performance in Brazil that year. Tributes have poured from the entire F1 community, from racers to past teammates to teams to even celebrities that he's met.
So, what next?
This news has, however, blown the driver market wide open. With the Mercedes seat already decided according to Team Principal Toto Wolff, and murmurings that the Williams seats will have at least one free seat, it is expected that Russell will be promoted from Williams to Mercedes, and Bottas will move to fill Raikkonen's seat, which I find a rather nice continuity for Alfa Romeo. It's being filled in by a Finn after a Finn has announced his resignation.
Valtteri Bottas is pictured at the 2018 German Grand Prix, the 125th anniversary of his team's involvement in motorsport. | Credit: F1.com
Rumors were floating that it would the resignation would happen this year, but it was expected to be announced at Monza next week, as it would be Alfa Romeo's home race.
Whatever happens, Kimi Raikkonen will not be on the grid, and he will be greatly missed.