K imi Raikkonen knew it when he was in Monza arrived. The team informed him that their contract would not be renewed. Charles Leclerc had to wait another week for his dream to be confirmed. “Maurizio Arrivabene informed me on the phone last Saturday.”
The deal between Raikkonen and Sauber was already in the bag. Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder kept a loose connection with his Finnish friend over the years. When Kimi told him in Monza that his days at Ferrari were numbered, Zehnder renewed his shack, which over the years has become a running gag: “If you don't have a place at Ferrari, come to us!”
'Kimi was at the market,' says Vasseur curtly. In other words: It was not the Ferrari connection that brought the Finn to clean. The main sponsor Alfa Romeo's wish to occupy the second cockpit with Ferrari Junior Antonio Giovinazzi remains. The Swedish owners favor Marcus Ericsson. The final decision could lie with Vasseur.
Raikkonen: 'I have my reasons, and that’s enough for me'
Kimi Raikkonen shortened the question and answer game about why an ex-world champion followed For eight years, Ferrari docks with a small team like Sauber with a simple sentence: “Because I want it.” He underlined this by saying: “Leaving Ferrari wasn't my own decision. Going too clean, on the other hand, does. ”
Vasseur breathed a sigh of relief. Not much was to be expected from a Giovinazzi-Ericsson team. Now he has an ex-champion with 285 GP starts in the team: “Kimi will help us with his experience as a team. And he'll go into the points if the car allows it. ”
Raikkonen's salary was adjusted to the clean options. But money was never Raikkonen's mainspring. The Finn just wants to keep racing. Even at the age of 38, that's still his favorite pastime. Others should rack their brains about his descent to Sauber, Kimi smiled and gave a typical Kimi answer: “I have my reasons, and that's enough for me. If I sign there for two years, I have to be happy. '
Assumptions that Ferrari placed Raikkonen with Sauber in order to buy Sebastian Vettel's loyalty against Lewis Hamilton in the championship fight, are therefore mere speculation. 'Too much was interpreted into it,' says Vettel.
Charles Leclerc has quickly recovered from his positive shock at being promoted to Ferrari driver in his second Formula 1 year. The 20-year-old Monegasse only spoke briefly about his childhood dream, which has already come true after just 14 Formula 1 starts.
Now he's already looking at the next task: “Many people believe that I'm under immense pressure will get. Not me. That's not my mentality. I don't think about what other people want me to do. I just focus on my job. If I do the right things, then I don't have to worry. '
Leclerc:' Don't go to Ferrari to learn '
Leclerc sets high standards for himself:' If the car is as good as it was this year and therefore capable of winning, I have to be able to drive for the world championship. That must be my goal. Am i ready for this? I think so. Of course, experience helps, and I still have a lot to catch up. But Lewis Hamilton made it in the second year. ”Ferrari's newcomer sees himself in the probationary period:“ If I am not able to achieve my goals with a top car, then I don't deserve the place at Ferrari. ”
The move to Ferrari is nothing compared to his promotion from Formula 2 to Formula 1. “That was a huge change. Everything was new to me. The car, the procedures, the effort. The same thing awaits me at Ferrari, just one dimension bigger. I have to adapt more than learn from scratch. I can already see that in the media hype here in Singapore. ”Leclerc says clearlyand clearly: “I don't go to Ferrari to learn. I had my apprenticeship year at Sauber. ”
Leclerc has not yet spoken to his new team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Vettel doesn't even have his phone number. 'Charles must have had enough to worry about now,' said the Heppenheimer, apologizing for the lack of congratulations. Nevertheless, the two have communicated earlier. “Sebastian was always nice to me. Whenever I was in the simulator, he would send me a message and thank you for the good work, ”reveals Leclerc.