Sauber to sign 'racing rookie' Raikkonen

Finn Kimi Raikkonen will move up to Formula 1 next season with just 23 car races under his belt, according to this week's Autosport magazine

Sauber to sign 'racing rookie' Raikkonen

The British Formula Renault champion has twice tested for the Swiss-based squad and is expected to sign a contract this week. Sauber's recruitment of Raikkonen to partner former Prost driver Nick Heidfeld in 2001 will leave the team's Brazilian test driver Enrique Bernoldi out in the cold.

Team boss Peter Sauber said: "There are several aspects why we very strongly believe that Raikkonen is the right man for us. First of all his very professional approach towards his work and his astonishing maturity considering his age.

"Even more impressive is his natural speed," he added. "He seems to crank out fast lap times effortlessly. In comparison with other drivers, we never got the impression that he reached his limits. We still have to find out how fast he can go!"

The 21-year-old does not qualify for an F1 superlicence by dint of results, but is expected to be granted one by the FIA, the sport's governing body, based on his testing pace.

Raikkonen joins a growing list of current F1 drivers who have graduated from karts then jumped to the sport's highest level with minimum single-seater experience. But unlike Jenson Button, Jos Verstappen and Jarno Trulli, the Finn will make the leap without first undertaking a season in Formula 3.

"This is a great opportunity for me," said Raikkonen. "I actually found driving the F1 car was quite easy - much easier than getting back in a Formula Renault car afterwards."




shares
comments
Toyota Readies for F1 with Race Track Purchase
Previous article

Toyota Readies for F1 with Race Track Purchase

Next article

Button to try his hand at rallying?

Button to try his hand at rallying?
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022