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Official: Raikkonen leaves Ferrari and signs 2-year Sauber deal

  • Published on 11 Sep 2018 10:26
  • comments 11
  • By: Danny Sosef

Ferrari has announced that Kimi Raikkonen will leave the Italian team at the end of the 2018 season. The Finn will leave the Maranello squad after re-joining in 2014, where he partnered Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel from 2015 to 2018.

However, the 37-year-old will not leave the Formula 1 scene next year as he will take up a seat at Sauber for two years. It opens the door for Charles Leclerc to join the Scuderia team, despite 2018 being just his rookie year in the series.

“Signing Kimi Räikkönen as our driver represents an important pillar of our project, and brings us closer to our target of making significant progress as a team in the near future," said Sauber team boss Frederic Vasseur.

"Kimi’s undoubted talent and immense experience in Formula One will not only contribute to the development of our car, but will also accelerate the growth and development of our team as a whole. Together, we will start the 2019 season with a strong foundation, driven by the determination to fight for results that count."

Sauber has enjoyed an improved season after spending two years at the back of the grid. It is currently ninth in the constructor's standings, but has advanced out of the first stage of qualifying on several occasions, and has scored 19 points so far this year.

Replies (11)

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  • Freguz

    Posts: 160

    Great opportunity for Marcus to learn how to make a drink

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 10:44
    • Kean

      Posts: 679

      I think this means Marcus is out of the picture. Ferrari has an option on one of the seats for one of their drivers, so I guess that could mean Räikkönen, but I don't think this move uses this option. Read somewhere that Finnish media is reporting that Räikkönen is also investing in Sauber. Also, if it stands between Marcus and Räikkönen then the PR alone has got to be enough for the owners to go with Räikkönen, it is just too good a opportunity to pass up no matter how much they back Ericsson.

      • + 0
      • Sep 11 2018 - 11:29
    • I hope he is get invested in a team. Would like to see Kimi running an F1 team at some point. He is just a great character to have on the paddock.

      • + 0
      • Sep 12 2018 - 03:15
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Good luck to him.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 12:29
  • Interesting that they gave the boot to Kimi during the best year of his second stint at Ferrari... Almost as though it was ok for him to score half as many points as Alonso and Sebastian, but when he starts fighting for wins and potentially taking away points from the #1 driver that's an unforgivable offense.

    I sure hope we get more of vintage Kimi now that he's out of Ferrari. I think those were the worst years of his career except for 2007.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 18:08
  • This doesn't make any sense. Here is the only explanation:

    Liberty media is behind it. They tried to pressure Red Bull to take Alonso. Now after Ferrari FINALLY decided to get rid of the Finn, the series would loose another star with many fans/viewers behind.
    That's why I think, that Liberty pays Sauber and Kimi to stay a little bit longer. This is the only reasonable explanation.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 18:09
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      Either that or you're wrong. I'm torn to be honest.

      • + 0
      • Sep 11 2018 - 19:34
    • I think there is a good chance that he wants to get more involved with a team as an investor or team manager or something of that sort. Sauber makes sense in that regard. He knows the Ferrari engine and how to develop cars and with his Ferrari connection Sauber could have great potential with him there. He has been more energetic and enthusiastic this year than ever so I think he genuinely wants to be in the game.

      • + 0
      • Sep 12 2018 - 03:18
  • Carman

    Posts: 11

    I am a huge fan of Kimi but it's sad to see him occuping a seat at Sauber thus denying a seat to an up an coming youngster unless of course they turf out Ericsson whose been going nowhere slowly since he's been there.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 18:40
  • So Ericsson and Kimi or Kimi and someone else? Its sad and unfortunate, yet I think Kimi will be happier at Sauber. He'll do a year or two back with the team he started with (which in a sense is both nostalgic and a tad adorable) and then he'll wave good bye to F1.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 19:27
    • I don't know if you noticed but he looks pretty damn happy at Ferrari. He's always had those one year contract deals so he's used to the idea that he may not be with them. I don't think that phases him. He looks happier this year than I've ever seen him except maybe in his first couple of years. I hope he does great at Sauber and eventually gets involved in management there or back at Ferrari.

      • + 0
      • Sep 12 2018 - 03:21

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