Reports earlier in the summer have seemed to suggest that former Ferrari supremo Sergio Marchionne has committed Ferrari to having young Charles Leclerc join them as their second driver alongside Sebastian Vettel. However, the official statement, which was expected for Moza, was not made for the moment and Scuderia Ferrari’s delayed announcement of the 2019 driver lineup has inevitably led to numerous rumours regarding Kimi Raikkonen‘s Formula One future and Charles Leclerc’s imminent move to the Maranello team.
It appears the legacy deal from Marchionne era is still binding, leaving Kimi still wondering where he will be driving next season. This presents a very awkward scenario for Ferrari, especially given that Leclerc is managed by the son of former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, who is now president of the FIA. The boss of Ferrari Louis Camilleri hasn’t done anything to stop the speculation, merely stating that ‘no timeframe’ has been placed on the decision thus far when speaking to the media on Friday ahead of the race in Italy. Kimi Raikkonen himself has expressed his desire to stay with the Scuderia, but has conceded that the decision is out of his hands.
According to initial reports during the Monza weekend, Kimi is in line to be replaced by Charles Leclerc at the end of the season, on the basis of the agreement reached between him and Sergio Marchionne. The new Ferrari management would be more than willing to keep Kimi at the team for the 2019 Formula One championship, but are in a fix because of the Sergio Marchionne contract and are trying to find a middle ground. One possible solution would be that that Charles Leclerc and Kimi Raikkonen stay put for another year, Monégasque racing driver gets his $2 million salary (one that he was supposed to get at Ferrari in 2019) and that the duo swap at the end of the 2019 season.
Reports in Finland now suggest that, Kimi Raikkonen could indeed move to Sauber next season, as a driver and a part owner. He would drive the Sauber for maybe a season and then opt for a more background role with the team. The 2007 Formula One world champion is student of motorsport and has had his racing team ventures in the past in Räikkönen-Robertson Racing, IceOne Racing.
Thus, Raikkonen’s history with Sauber and the fact that he lives close by to the Sauber headquarters in Switzerland could reportedly pave way for this special relationship. If this move goes through, Kimi would still largely be in the Ferrari family and would essentially have secured his future in the sport as well, this time in an administrative role.
However, the situation means both teams are unlikely to know their 2019 teams for a few days yet, leaving both Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Leclerc facing uncertain futures.