Featured Raikkonen to Sauber, Leclerc to Ferrari Next Season

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Raikkonen to Sauber Leclerc to Ferrari.jpg
    After much speculation it has been confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will be joining Sauber next season, the Scuderia promoting young charger Charles Leclerc in his place for 2019.

    The Italian team confirmed that Raikkonen, 38, will see out the remainder of the 2018 season before swapping colours to join the Sauber team next season, in a direct swap for young hotshot Charles Leclerc.

    Raikkonen has been a member of the Ferrari family on and off for 11 years since making a move from McLaren Mercedes team at the end of 2006 season, a relationship that took the then 27-year-old to his one and only World Championship success.

    Having seemingly lost motivation in Formula One following a strong run of form for teammate Felipe Massa, Raikkonen would exit the sport for a brief spell in the World Rally Championship, in 2010, before eventually returning to Grand Prix racing following a less than successful spell outside of the sport in both rally and NASCAR competition.

    Returning initially with the Lotus team for 2012, Raikkonen would immediately show the kind of form displayed in his earlier career, eventually leading to a surprise return to Ferrari ahead of the 2014 season. Despite often showing strong form in the following years, Raikkonen has so far failed to add to his 20 race victory total, with seven rounds of the current season yet to run.

    Now heading into his 39th year, Ferrari have taken the brave decision to replace the popular Finn with highly rated junior driver Charles Leclerc, the 20-year-old Sauber driver having an impressive debut year in the sport for the perennial midfield team.

    Having long been a favourite of the late Sergio Marchionne, Leclerc has been deemed to have done enough during the opening rounds of the 2018 season to earn a drive with the Scuderia for 2019, bucking the long held Ferrari tradition of employing more seasoned and established drivers for their Formula One outfit.

    "Dreams do come true... I'll be driving for Scuderia Ferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship," said Leclerc on Twitter. "I will be eternally grateful to Scuderia Ferrari for the opportunity given.

    "To Nicolas Todt for supporting me since 2011. To my family. To a person that is not part of this world anymore but to whom I owe everything of what is happening to me, Papa. To Jules, thank you for all the things you learnt me [sic], we will never forget you, and to all the persons that supported me and believed in me.

    "I will work harder than ever to not disappoint you. But first, there is a season to finish with an amazing team that gave me the opportunity to fight and show my potential. Let's go Sauber F1 Team."

    Leclerc is regarded by many as a future World Champion prospect in Formula One, and with both current Ferrari team leader Vettel and Lewis Hamilton now well into their 30’s, Ferrari are clearly looking to establish their future prospects in the sport by investing no one of the brightest talents on the current grid.

    With many expecting the deal to move Leclerc into a Ferrari seat next season to spell the end of Raikkonen's illustrious career, the ever surprising Finn shocked the paddock by announcing he will take the seat vacated by Leclerc in 2019, re-joining the outfit for which he made his Grand Prix debut in 2001:

    "Signing Kimi Raikkonen 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 principle Fred Vasseur.​

    "Kimi's undoubted talent and immense experience in Formula 1 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."
    According to a post on Raikkonen's Instagram account, the 2007 World Champion has agreed terms to a two year deal with Sauber, taking Raikkonen to 41 years of age at the conclusion of the 2020 racing season.

    Kimi looks set to line up alongside Sauber favourite Marcus Ericsson next year, although the Swede could be under pressure for his drive by outgoing McLaren man Stoffel Vandoorne, the Belgian having a long standing relationship with Sauber Team Principle Vasseur that dates back to their successful GP2 campaign of 2015.

    For more from the world of Grand Prix racing, don't forget to check out the Formula One forum here at RaceDepartment and get involved in the conversation.

    Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!


    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    • Like Like x 8
    • Love Love x 2
  2. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore

    I’m a kimi fan , but some driver don’t know when to call it a day .

    He’s also a valuable commodity to Sauber i suspect that’s why he’s sticking around .
    • Agree Agree x 10
    • Disagree Disagree x 6
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Shad3R


    The next season, Leclerc will get the good part 100%

    If he beats Vettel he will impress everybody and will make vettel look bad.
    If he doesnt, nothing happen, anyway is his first year in that ferrari.

    Its going to be interesting to see Vettel with the: "We talk after"
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Haha Haha x 1
  4. LeSunTzu


    @Joe Moore - Are you sure you are a Kimi fan?:D He missed a few GPs only because he was used as a wingman by Ferrari. Perhaps also because he does not have a winning-at-all-cost attitude, which is why so many people love him.

    By the way during the last years there was always a breath of fresh air during very dull races: the traditional moment showing Mrs Raikkonen. Good to see it will continue for two years :p
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    • Agree x 15
    • Like x 3
    • Love x 1
    • Haha x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  5. Rui Santos

    Rui Santos

    Leclerc in Ferrari, first thing that came to my mind = $$$$$$$$$$€€€€€€€€€€€$$$$$$$$$$
    • Disagree Disagree x 25
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. HK2014


    at least we will see new Gp winners next season, Leclerc and maybe Gasly if Honda provides a good engine.
    • Haha Haha x 7
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Yapci


    I will bwoah Kimmi.
    • Beer Beer x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  8. NDG

    Non Dangerous Guy Premium

    That's enough motivation for KIMI if he thinks the way I think. He can still win 2018 WDC if he only... He just needs to act like the younger guys and stop listening to team radio. Wishful thinking :whistling: and sad for this news. Or should I be happy? He's gonna be like a Hamilton driving for Williams next year at Sauber.
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  9. Antonio Castagna

    Antonio Castagna

  10. BrettSinclair1


    I like Kimi, but he seemed to lack that little bit extra that is needed for race wins and championships since his return to Ferrari. Him returning the Sauber, his first team, may be a nice "frame" for his career.
    While not being a fan of young drivers in general, Leclerc so far is the most promising of the decade. As long as he can drive at Kimis level in 2019, he will do just fine to keep him at Ferrari. Vettel and Hamilton won't drive forever, and Leclerc will improve. Time is on his side!
    • Agree Agree x 9
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  11. delpinsky


    I'm a Kimi fan, but many times he looks like he can't properly do his job due to car mechanical problems, team orders, bad luck or lack of lionheart inside.

    All the best for Kimi, hoping he can still do a good season, fighting to win.
    Welcome to this young driver, hoping he's gonna show his skills driving a Ferrari!

    Raikkonen smiling!!! Rarities... :D
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 4
  12. Tero Dahlberg

    Tero Dahlberg
    Livery Designer Premium

    Google "kimi" and then google "kimmi". See the difference :p

    Anyway, I was expecting this season to be Kimi's last in F1. Would like to see him race somewhere else too. But as long as he's motivated to be in F1 then he should stay there :)
    • Haha Haha x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

    Yeah, well, I think it's too early for Leclerc, but we'll see.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  14. bsmooth


    He'll help Sauber quite a bit I think. Kimi was always a true Ferrari driver, always putting the team first and himself second. He's always been hard on himself, and its made the team he's driving for better in the long run.
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 1
  15. neuer31


    I don't think Leclerc is quite ready yet, but we will see. At least he has completed 1 season by then.

    Hopefully Raikönnen can give Sauber some good inputs to bring them to the Top 5.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 2
  16. LeSunTzu


    He might become F1's LeBron, but he will always remain Leclerc, not LeClerc :D
  17. keto95


    Leclerc promoting to Ferrari was to be expected and is very well deserved; he's shown some great potential so far. Raikkonen to Sauber is a remarkable switch to say the least. It would've been better to call it quits when he's still on a top level rather than to degrade himself going to Sauber. There's more in life after F1 than to perform in a lower team. Anyway, I wish them both the best of luck. Actually Ferrari should've sacked Vettel; too many mistakes.
  18. Paddle Beast

    Paddle Beast

    • "Leave me alone, I know what to do."
    • Love Love x 5
    • Haha Haha x 1
  19. Rodent


    One day I will be able to see the name Leclerc and not immediately think of this. But today was not that day.

    On topic I am real excited about this one, Ferrari could do with a change up and as much as I like Kimi, Seb has been better during the years they've driven there together.

    As someone who always has a soft spot for Sauber this is excellent news as well, Kimi will ensure the progress they've done this year is not squandered. His quality as a driver will no doubt ensure points and his status as the resident F1 memelord will mean eyes, and thus sponsors will be on the gorgeous cars they're rocking post Alfa branding. ( Granted I do still wish they'd kept the 25 year Anniversary livery, that thing was the best looking car on grid. ) All in all, :thumbsup:.
    • Haha Haha x 4
    • Beer Beer x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. protonv5


    Here's an idea: Let's take a great driver, in an inferior car and ask him to beat Hamilton. Oh, he can't do it? We'll let's launch him to another team and get a rookie and ask him to beat Hamilton. He won't be able to do it either. And of course he won't be able to get frequent podiums like Raikkonen did. But being that he's a rookie, he'll probably wreck the car more. Yeah, brilliant idea.
    • Disagree Disagree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.