Raikkonen to race for Sauber after Ferrari exit

Kimi Raikkonen will return to the Sauber Formula 1 team in 2019 after losing his Ferrari drive.

Raikkonen to race for Sauber after Ferrari exit

Raikkonen made his debut in F1 with Sauber in 2001, before joining McLaren the following year, and will head back to the Swiss team next season in what is expected to be a straight swap with Charles Leclerc.

Sauber has confirmed Raikkonen for the 2019 season but the Finn wrote on his official Instagram account that it was a two-year deal.

He wrote: "Guess who's back?! Next two years with @sauberf1team ahead! Feels extremely good to go back where it all began!"

Though the 2007 world champion has not won a race since 2013, and has not tasted victory in his second spell with Ferrari, he represents a major coup for Sauber.

The team has been on a major rebuilding project over the last year since Fred Vasseur took charge amid an ownership change.

"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 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."

Sauber's revival has facilitated Leclerc's stunning rookie season, which has earned the 20-year-old an immediate graduation to Ferrari, although that is yet to be officially confirmed.

Raikkonen taking one of the 2019 Sauber seats means its other '18 driver Marcus Ericsson is under pressure to earn his stay with the team.

Ferrari protege Antonio Giovinazzi was considered a favourite for a Sauber drive, as Ferrari has an option on one of the seats there.

It may have used that to allow Raikkonen's move, or Giovinazzi could make his full-time F1 debut by replacing Ericsson.

Sauber Petronas team in Johor Bahru: Kimi Raikkonen

Sauber Petronas team in Johor Bahru: Kimi Raikkonen

Photo by: Red Bull Sauber Petronas

shares
comments
Raikkonen to step down from Ferrari role after 2018

Previous article

Raikkonen to step down from Ferrari role after 2018

Next article

Ferrari confirms Leclerc for 2019 F1 season

Ferrari confirms Leclerc for 2019 F1 season
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Sauber
Author Scott Mitchell
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021