Kimi Raikkonen says that Sauber has all of the tools at its disposal to make strong gains for the 2019 season. The Hinwil outfit enjoyed a stronger 2018 compared to years gone by, that saw it regularly finish inside the top ten.
It made for a change after it spent 2016 and 2017 as the grid's backmarkers. Next year it will field an all-new line-up of Antonio Giovinazzi and Raikkonen, the latter of which believing that 2019 could be an even greater year for the Swiss squad.
“I am excited,” Raikkonen said when asked about his new challenge with Sauber. “It’s different obviously [to Ferrari] but I think obviously I’ve been in the team, there’s lots of different people now [compared to 2001].
“But I think they have all the tools, they have a great wind tunnel, they have everything to build a great car, have a Ferrari engine so we know what we’re going to get. I don’t see reason why we couldn’t do good job out of it. Where that takes us we’ll see next year.”
Raikkonen made an early debut for Sauber, driving the C37 at the post-season Abu Dhabi test. Speaking about the car, the Iceman expressed surprise, admitting that he thought there would be a bigger difference between Sauber and Ferrari's 2018 challengers.
“For me it was important to try the car and see if there were big things we need to fix, but it was pretty straightforward,” he said. “To be honest it wasn’t a lot [of] different feelings, I probably expected a bigger difference, but we were just testing tyres, didn’t do set-up work, we did laps to try to see what is what. I think as a first experience it was okay.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing