The morning’s announcement took almost no one by surprise. Ferrari announced that Kimi Raikkonen, driver of car number 7, would be stepping down at the end of 2018. Raikkonen has actually had a rather good few races of late, yet is seen as playing a rather long second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel.

Then came the announcement that this year’s rookie driver Charles Leclerc would be taking the now vacant second seat for 2019 with a multi-year contract on the cards.

While Sauber congratulated their driver moving over to Ferrari, they also announced that Kimi Raikkonen would join them for 2019.

Charles Leclerc to join Ferrari 2019

Frédéric Vasseur, CEO of Sauber Motorsport and Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team said, “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.”

He went on to welcome Kimi Raikkonen, “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.”

2019 Formula 1 driver lineup

Team  
MercedesLewis HamiltonValtteri Bottas
FerrariSebastian VettelCharles Leclerc
Red Bull RacingMax VerstappenPierre Gasly
RenaultNico HulkenbergDaniel Ricciardo
McLarenCarlos Sainz JrLando Norris
Sauber FerrariKimi Raikkonen
Haas Ferrari
Force India Mercedes
Toro Rosso Honda
Williams Mercedes
2019 Formula 1 driver lineup
* to be confirmed

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