Ferrari/Sauber swap for Raikkonen, Leclerc in 2019 Formula 1 season
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team confirms that Kimi Räikkönen will join the team for the 2019 Formula One World Championship season. On the other side, Scuderia Ferrari promoted its junior and current Sauber driver Charles Leclerc to its line-up, alongside Sebastian Vettel.
Sauber has signed Raikkonen for the next two seasons, getting one of the most popular drivers on the current F1 grid, who scored 20 Grand Prix wins and 100 podiums in his career.
Kimi Raikkonen is actually returning to Sauber because he started his F1 career back in 2001 with Red Bull Sauber Petronas team. After that, he spent five seasons with McLaren-Mercedes, then three years with Scuderia Ferrari, including championship-winning 2007 season. Kimi was out of F1 for two seasons (2010 and 2011), competing in WRC, then joined Lotus in 2012 and returned to Ferrari in 2014.
“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. 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,” said Frederic Vasseur, CEO of Sauber Motorsport and Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
On the other side, Scuderia Ferrari just shortly announced that ‘Kimi is stepping down at the end of 2018’ and that Charles Leclerc will drive for the team in 2019.