Friday 14 December 2018

Kimi Raikkonen to leave Ferrari at end of the season as Charles Leclerc completes switch

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen will leave Ferrari at the end of the season.

The Formula 1 team announced the departure of the 2007 champion in a statement on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Finn has driven for Ferrari in two spells, from 2007 to 2009 and from 2014 to the current season.

"During these years, Kimi's contribution to the team, both as a driver and on account of his human qualities, has been fundamental. He played a decisive role in the team's growth and was, at the same time, always a great team player," Ferrari said.

"As a world champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the team's history and family. We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future."

There will be no speculation about Raikkonen's future, though, as he has already revealed a return to Sauber on a two-year deal.

He started his career with the team in 2001 and wrote on his Instagram account: "Guess who's back?! Next two years with @sauberf1team ahead! Feels extremely good to go back where it all began!"

Ferrari immediately revealed Raikkonen's successor by announcing Sauber's Charles Leclerc as his replacement.

"Scuderia Ferrari announces that in the next Formula One racing season, Charles Leclerc will drive for the Team alongside Sebastian Vettel," said a team statement.

Leclerc, 20, was a development driver for Ferrari in 2017 before making his F1 debut with Sauber this season.

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