One of the worst kept secrets in racing was official revealed on Tuesday as Ferrari and Sauber have announced that Charles LeClerc and Kimi Raikkonen will exchange seats starting in 2019. LeClerc, the 20 year old phenom will drive for Ferrari while the veteran in Raikkonen will take his seat at Sauber.
LeClerc, is in his first season in F1 as he’s been stellar for Sauber. In 14 starts this season, the Monaco native has five top 10 finishes. He’s been strong for the team and brought them back as a solid midpack team in the series. He won the GP2 and GP3 championship in each of the last two seasons.
Raikkonen, is a veteran of 285 starts. He’s won 20 times and was champion in 2007. But, Ferrari is clearly wanting to go younger, a shocking new direction for them.
Normally, the team hires veteran drivers to race for them. The announcement that they’ve hired a 20 year old despite his past achievements is rather surprising. Raikkonen, gives them balance and a podium threat to team with a championship caliber driver of Sebastian Vettel. Now, LeClerc shifts over to one of the top rides in the world. Yes, he has the talent but is he mature enough to handle the pressures of this ride?
It’s a multi-year deal, so we will see how LeClerc pans out.
Raikkonen, will hang around for two more years then probably call it quits.