Rosberg: Raikkonen signing will 'change the world'

Former world champion Keke Rosberg says motor racing will be changed forever if fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen lands a Formula 1 drive with Sauber next year.

Rosberg: Raikkonen signing will 'change the world'

Raikkonen is poised to sign for the Swiss-based squad straight from a title-winning season in the British Formula Renault series. The 21-year-old has just 23 motor races under his belt, but impressed Sauber when he conducted two tests for the team last month.

Speaking in this week's Autosport magazine, 1982 champion Rosberg said: "The world will change if Raikkonen gets a superlicence. It will turn the whole driver market on its head.

"In my day it would never have happened because there was massive power and a lack of road-holding. You just could not have done it."

As well as rendering the traditional Formula 3/Formula 3000 staircase to F1 potentially redundant, Rosberg believes Raikkonen's signing will force teams to contract ever-younger drivers and that it will also have a major effect on the driver salary market, with young drivers coming much cheaper than the established stars.

Raikkonen's management team, which also handles Jenson Button, is waiting for final confirmation from Sauber, but denied speculation that the Finn could face problems in getting a superlicence. Raikkonen is not eligible on results, but can be awarded one if the FIA, the sport's governing body, decides his F1 testing performances are of a high enough standard.

"I haven't heard of there being any concerns," said his manager Steve Robertson. "No one said anything when Jarno Trulli jumped up to F1 and his German F3 car had almost the same power as a contemporary Formula Renault."

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