Kimi Raikkonen was only told he wouldn't be driving for Ferrari during the 2019 season at Monza two weeks ago, before he started talks with Sauber. It was confirmed earlier this week that the Finn would return to the team he started his F1 career with next year.
Sauber's Charles Leclerc will take his seat at Ferrari for the 2019 season, despite it being just his second season in the sport. Speaking at the Thursday press conference ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, Raikkonen gave an insight to how the situation played out.
“In Monza, that’s when I knew,” he said. “I know people at Sauber from the past, so it [negotiations] basically started after that. I don’t think it has always been there [the desire to return]. Obviously you never know here what will happen. I wouldn’t say there are plans for a long time that this is going to happen.”
When asked what motivated him to make the move, he said: “Because I want to go. Why do you try to make it so complicated? I don’t know anything more than you guys [beyond] purely where they have been finishing.
“I don’t know what will happen, nobody knows what will happen next year. I don’t care about what others think. As long as I am happy with my own reasons, it is enough for me.”
Raikkonen currently sits in 3rd place in the driver's championship, 92 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The 37-year-old has picked up nine podiums this year, but is yet to win a race since returning to Ferrari in 2014.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing