Kimi Raikkonen gets green light for early test with Sauber F1 team

Sauber's new Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen will drive the team's 2018 car in post-season Pirelli testing in Abu Dhabi

Kimi Raikkonen gets green light for early test with Sauber F1 team

Raikkonen, who signed a two-year deal with Sauber earlier this year, had a seat fitting with the team in September.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur has now confirmed that the 2007 world champion will be permitted by his current Ferrari team to drive for Sauber during the November 27-28 test.

Sauber is yet to reveal its exact programme for the test, which will mark Raikkonen's first laps back with the team he was a race driver for when he made his F1 debut in 2001.

Raikkonen's 2019 team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi drove for Sauber again in Friday practice at Yas Marina and is expected to also be involved in the test.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark 39-year-old Raikkonen's 151st and final start for Ferrari, for which he has competed across two different multi-year stints.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Raikkonen insisted he saw no reason to feel down ahead of his last outing with the Scuderia.

"Obviously I had practice leaving them once already so it's not a new thing," he joked.

"I'm not sad because I don't see why we need to be sad. We will stay as friends.

"We're going to see a lot of us anyhow in the paddock so not an awful lot changes.

"We'll both go for new things and I think it's exciting, but we've had good times with the team, great people.

"We've had some difficult times, but that's part of business and I think that's how it should go: sometimes it needs to be a bit hard.

"Obviously I won the championship with them as a driver and we won twice [the teams' championship] so I'm very happy to be part of it because there's not many people who have done it.

"We will happily go different ways. We're not that far away from each other and we will keep doing what we do."

Raikkonen, who was seventh in first practice on Friday, is 14 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas and 17 ahead of Max Verstappen in the fight for third place in the 2018 standings, but said he was not fussed where he finished the year.

"I don't think it changes my world any way," he said.

"If I end up third, I think I need to go wherever the prizegiving is, so it is a negative thing in the end, more travelling."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Sauber
Author Oleg Karpov
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