Kimi Raikkonen will leave Ferrari at the end of this season and re-join Sauber on a two-year deal it has been confirmed.
Raikkonen re-signed for a second spell at Ferrari back in 2014 after a first stint at the Italian outfit from 2007-2009, a period that saw him win his one and only world championship in his first year with the team.
The Finn’s future has been a major talking point this season, with Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc signed as his successor after an impressive rookie campaign.
“Scuderia Ferrari announces that, at the end of the 2018 season, Kimi Raikkonen will step down from his current role,” said a statement from the team.
“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.
“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.”
With Leclerc heading to Maranello, this has resulted in a swap deal with Raikkonen, who will reunite with Sauber 18 years after the Swiss team gave him his Formula 1 debut back in 2001.
“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,” said Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur.
“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.”