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.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing