Charles Leclerc to drive for Scuderia Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen moves to Sauber
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 11, 2018 Updated: 3:54 PM PT
Ferrari announced Tuesday, that junior driver Charles Leclerc will swap places as the F1 rookie driver will race for the Scuderia with Kimi Raikkonen moving to Sauber next season.
In what has become a huge step for 20-year old Monégasque driver who will partner Sebastian Vettel next year. Leclerc has been off to an impressive start to his rookie season with five points-scoring finishes for Sauber.
The 2017 Formula 2 champion will replace Kimi Raikkonen who will return to the team where he started his F1 career in 2001.
The 2007 champion who is in his 16th season in the sport will race for the next two years with the Swiss outfit where he started his rookie season alongside Nick Heidfeld before moving on to drive for McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and returning to Ferrari in 2014.
So far this season Raikkonen has taken nine podiums with a milestone 100th podium at the Italian Grand Prix nearly two weeks ago.
Shortly after Leclerc took to social media in response to the announcement.
Sauber Team Principal Frederic Vasseur responded to Leclerc and Raikkonen’s announcement
"It has been a great pleasure to support Charles Leclerc in his rookie year in Formula One. Since his arrival, he has given the team great motivation. We have constantly improved and we will work hard until the end of this season to achieve the best possible results together. We are aware of Charles' talent and are confident that he will have a bright future We will keep on following him closely and we wish him the best on his path,” said Vasseur.
Vasseur added: “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.”