Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen feels there is no reason to be sad ahead of his departure from the Maranello team following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Kimi will leave Ferrari to rejoin the Sauber squad he made his F1 debut with for 2019, with Scuderia protégé Charles Leclerc moving up to partner Sebastian Vettel following his impressive debut campaign.
It will mark the second time Raikkonen – who remains Ferrari’s last driver to win a world championship title – has left the team following his exit at the end of the 2009 season.
“I have practice from leaving them once already, so it’s not a new thing,” Kimi said at his last press conference with the Italian side, ahead of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – “I’m not sad because I don’t see why we’d need to be sad. Well still see a lot of each other in the paddock, so not an awful lot changes. I’m going for a new thing and that’s exciting. Obviously I had good times with the team, with great people but we also had some difficult times too but that’s part of the business, how it goes sometimes – it can be a little bit hard. I’ve won the championship with them as a driver, also we’ve won twice as a team. I was very happy to be a part of it and we had some great times too. We’ll happily go different ways and not too far from each other. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing and it will be good.” – he added.
Kimi Raikkonen heads into the final round of the season 14 points clear of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in third place in the drivers’ standings, though he admits sealing the position is not at the front of his mind.
Asked about his ongoing battle with his fellow Finn, Raikkonen replied: “I don’t think it’s changing my world.
“I’ve I get that third place I’ll have to go and get that prize giving wherever it is. That’s the negative thing, more traveling… If it comes to it, so be it.”