Yes! The Iceman will continue to race in Formula 1! But not with Scuderia Ferrari. After much speculation since the summer break, it is now confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will be trading places with Charles Leclerc for the 2019 season.
The 38-year-old racer has been struggling to find form for some years now while Mercedes has been dominating the current hybrid engine era. He has often been called the number two driver at Scuderia Ferrari behind Sebastian Vettel and some argue that he no longer has the drive to win but after his spirited performance in the 2018 season so far, things got complicated. Charles Leclerc meanwhile is the F1 rookie from Ferrari’s junior programme, currently in his debut season with Alfa Romeo Sauber after a stellar performance in Formula 2 which he won last year. Leclerc has been securing points for Sauber throughout the season and has outperformed his more experienced teammate on multiple occasions.
Kimi will be driving for the Sauber team which marks a return to home for the 2007 World Champion. Raikkonen made his debut in Formula 1 with Sauber in 2001 and these might be the last couple of years we see him in the sport, so there’s a nice ring to see him back where it all started for him. How much will Kimi upset every big team in the next two years is something I’m really looking forward to as a fan of the Finn and the sport. I am also looking forward to the young talent that will be clashing for wins next year – Leclerc for Ferrari against Verstappen and Gasly for Red Bull.
Kimi’s farewell party from Ferrari would be one for the ages as he is reputed to enjoy a fair amount of refreshing beverages. While I won’t be able to attend that, I am going to get my hands on his book which will come out in its English translation next month. But before any of that, we have the Singapore GP this weekend and possibly Vettel’s last chance to close the gap to Lewis for the title. So stay tuned and subscribe for the latest updates on our freshest content.