The dreaded day for Kimi fans around the world is here, as the Finn is set to lose his seat at Ferrari, with the new kid on the block, Charles Leclerc certain to make the move to F1’s elite.
Raikkonen has endured a painful last week off the track, as multiple sources have reported that the new Ferrari President had conveyed to him before the Monza weekend that he will have to quit Ferrari at the end of the season.
Sergio Marchionne’s agreement with Leclerc and Sauber earlier during the season has been highlighted as the major reason for this mess.
While the new Ferrari management, Arrivabene and Vettel want Kimi to stay for one more season, Ferrari cannot go back on that initial agreement made between Marchionne and Leclerc.
A meeting is scheduled for today at Ferrari, one that will end with Ferrari announcing Leclerc and Vettel as their driver lineup for 2019(according to La Gazetta dello Sport and Sky Italy).
The move would mean curtains for Kimi Raikkonen’s F1 career, as none of the midfield teams necessarily have the money to afford Kimi’s services. A move to McLaren did seem possible when rumours of a Ferrari exit had emerged, but McLaren’s announcement of Lando Norris as the partner for Sainz next season meant that Kimi’s chances of finding a F1 seat for 2019 had largely ended.
For Leclerc though, this will be a dream come true, something that the young Sauber driver had emphasised on all season.
However, it will be interesting to see how the new management welcome him(as they did not want him for next year in the first place) and if he would be Vettel’s no.2 for next season or be at par with him.