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Champions of the 2000s: Where are They Now?

Written by Llinos Jones, Edited by Mara Simion

Credit: Formula One

The 2000s saw five different drivers take the championship, but have you ever wondered what they did after and where they are now?

The first four years of the 2000s were dominated by Michael Schumacher in Ferrari. Following this success, he continued to drive for another two years before announcing his retirement in 2006.

But this didn’t last, as he shocked everyone by returning to Formula One in 2010 racing for Mercedes, where he raced for three years before announcing his second retirement. He hasn’t been seen in public since before his accident and minimum updates have been given regarding his health. Keep Fighting, Michael!

Credit - Formula One

2005 and 2006 saw the rise of Fernando Alonso, with him taking the championship both years with Renault. After this, he’s had a colourful career changing teams a handful of times, but never finding the same success as his time at Renault. Nowadays, he races for the Aston Martin Cognizant team and is currently the oldest driver on the grid, at the age of 42.

Credit - Autosport

In 2007, Kimi ,‘the iceman’, Raikkonen took the championship, becoming the last driver to win the championship for Ferrari. He continued racing until 2009, before deciding that he wanted to branch out into other forms of motorsport.

He returned to Formula One in 2012 racing for Lotus, when he almost bankrupted the team. He then had his second stint at Ferrari from 2014 to 2018, before making his final move to Alfa Romeo in 2019 where he remained until announcing his retirement in 2021.

Post F1, the iceman has kept his distance from the sport, instead focusing on other categories, as he was named team principal for the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2022. At present, he races in NASCAR.

Credit - Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to winning the championship, picking up another six since his maiden one in 2008. He currently races for Mercedes, making the switch from McLaren in 2013. He came close to winning an eighth championship in 2021, but lost to Max Verstappen who overtook him on the last lap and crushed his chances of winning.

Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Brawn GP made a spectacular entrance in 2009, with Jenson Button picking up the championship. Button then made the decision to move to McLaren, in 2010, and remained there before announcing his retirement from the sport in 2016. In 2017, he made an appearance in the Monaco GP when he stood in for Fernando Alonso. This would be his 306th and final race start in F1.

He made his debut in the super GT GT500 in 2017 and picked up a championship in 2018, but he subsequently left the sport the same year. In 2020, he made his debut in the British GP in the season finale at the three-hour Silverstone 500.

In 2023, he entered three races in the NASCAR cup and competed in the 24 hours of Le Mans. Alongside his racing career, Jenson can regularly be seen presenting for Sky Sports F1.


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