The announcement that Kimi Raikkonen is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season came as no surprise but what did come as a surprise to many was the news on Tuesday that the Iceman will return to the Sauber F1 Team for the next two years.
Raikkonen has proven this season that he is still hungry for success in Formula One and has quelled rumors about his commitment and motivation to compete in the sport.
The Iceman heads into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix in third place in the championship on 164 points having scored nine podiums so far this season and one pole position which came last time out at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
In recent years, Raikkonen has opened up more and earlier this year he joined Instagram and that is where he made the announcement that he is returning to Sauber in 2019.
When the Iceman lines up on the grid for the start of the 2019 Formula One season opening Australian Grand Prix next month he will start his 295th Grand Prix and at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix he will celebrate his 300th Grand Prix start.
Many have criticized Sauber’s decision to sign Raikkonen with Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle saying that it is unfair to the young drivers come up the F1 ladder, however Sauber F1 Team principal and CEO Frederic Vasseur and the management at the Swiss based outfit are confident in the Finn’s ability to help bring the team forward due to his experience.
Raikkonen will take up partial ownership of the team as part of the deal which as we reported on Tuesday is a smart move as it protects the Finn from a repeat of what happened when he drove for the Lotus F1 Team.
When it comes to Ferrari, they simply said that Raikkonen will step down from his position with the team at the end of the season, wished him well for the future and made absolutely no reference to the fact that Kimi is the teams last world champion having won the title in 2007, his first season with the team.