N och nothing is official. But in the paddock people are already whispering that Maranello has made his choice. Had to meet because there are agreements that ex-President Sergio Marchionne, who died at the end of July, had made. And so Kimi Raikkonen is out and Charles Leclerc is his successor. The new Ferrari President Louis Camilleri assured in Monza: “Nothing has been decided yet. There is also no time window for it. Kimi has been a loyal friend for a long time. ”
However, the paddock radio is already reporting: Kimi Räikkönen's eighth year at Ferrari is said to be the last. Ferrari cannot renew the contract with the 38-year-old Finn. Although the 20-time GP winner has recently shown consistently strong performances and put his Ferrari on pole position in Monza. The new Ferrari management would prefer to keep Raikkonen for another year, but the contract is on shaky ground. You don't want to mess with FIA President Jean Todt, whose son Nicolas Leclerc looks after. And then there is a certain moral obligation to the former Ferrari boss Marchionne.
When will the change be official?
Ferrari now has a problem communicating the change and the correct one To find time for it. You know how popular the Iceman is with the fans. Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene always had a warm and close relationship with the taciturn Finn. Perhaps that is why the new Ferrari capo says: “The final decision is made by Maurizio Arrivabene.”
Kimi Räikkönen will be 39 on October 17th. Charles Leclerc celebrates his 21st birthday the day before. By then, Monegasse will probably already be a Ferrari driver. Räikkönen would have done his job after eight years (2007 to 2009, 2014 to 2018).
Räikkönen is driving his eighth season for the Maranello team. After the first phase from 2007 to 2009 he had to give way to Fernando Alonso. This time one of the greatest talents in Formula 1 is to replace the old champion from Espoo, who returned to Ferrari in 2014.
The statements made by the 2007 world champion and his successor at Thursday's press conference in Monza indicated the change between the lines already on. When asked when his future will be decided, Raikkonen said in monosyllables: “I don't know. At some point it will be ready. You can probably do anythingexpect. I've learned that over the past few years. ”Leclerc said cheerfully:“ At the moment I'm still waiting for information and hopefully I'll be able to say something soon. ”.
Sauber sponsor wishes Giovinazzi in the car
For the first time since 2006, when Felipe Massa replaced his compatriot Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari is backing the youth. The 20-year-old Leclerc is considered one of the greatest talents in Formula 1. He has already collected 13 points for Sauber in his first season. The highlight was the 6th place at the GP Azerbaijan. For Vettel, the driver change would mean a change. Raikkonen is his friend. He could rely on him. Leclerc, on the other hand, is one of the young Angasers who wants to prove himself. The 2017 Formula 2 champion can only win in the first year of the comparison. Nobody expects him to beat a four-time world champion straight away. You could lose against a Raikkonen. After all, the iceman himself was once world champion.
The transfer will open up a position at Sauber. Team boss Frédéric Vasseur shouldn't have a large selection. The Swedish owners are loyal to Marcus Ericsson. And main sponsor Alfa Romeo wants to see a Ferrari junior in the cockpit. This is the chance for Antonio Giovinazzi, who already contested two races as a Wehrlein temporary worker at Sauber in 2017. Vasseur's dream pilot, Stoffel Vandoorne, has to look elsewhere. The Belgian has already received his farewell letter at McLaren. Now at Sauber Raikkonen should be on the list in order to have at least one reliable point collector in the team.
If Ferrari had extended another year with Raikkonen, Charles Leclerc would probably have been parked at HaasF1 in 2019. This is the salvation for Romain Grosjean, who will drive another year for the US team. Kevin Magnussen is considered set. The only alternative to Grosjean would be Sergio Perez, who is, however, as good as a bargain with Force India.