Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen would be a great fit for Sauber says the team’s boss Fred Vasseur.
There is a strong rumour that the Finn may be sent to his first F1 outfit for 2019.
Vasseur insists any decision on the 2019 lineup will be based solely on the driver’s performance and not on emotions.
According to reliable sources, Ferrari has the option to choose two drivers for the Swiss outfit.
At the moment, the only Scuderia’s junior programme driver left is Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber’s reserve driver. There is a chance the Italian may be elevated to the race seat next year.
But there is also a possibility of the seat going to Raikkonen so that he continues to stay within the Ferrari family. This would work only if the Finn is interested in pursuing driving in 2019.
Would it be a lot of pressure to put a former world champion in a Sauber car, we asked Vasseur, and he said; the ability is the only thing that mattered.
“It is a problem for the rich?” he asked. “I don’t care, I want to have the best guys into the car, this is the most important for the team, and no sacrifice with performance.
“It is much better to have a world champion than someone who won nothing.”
He added: “I am just focused on performance. The most important for me is to have the best line-up for next year and the future. That is my only concern.”
Vasseur said he is not going to put any thought into accepting the Finn just because he started his career with Sauber. He also emphasised his relationship with drivers from previous roles also does not play any role in his decision making.
“Honestly, it would not be a good approach. The most important for me is that in the driver selection and choice, it is important to have a common approach and not because I ran with a guy in F3 15 years ago, or he drove for Sauber 10 years ago.”
Vasseur admitted Giovinazzi would be the logical replacement for Charles Leclerc.
“It is a good feeling that Antonio wants to be involved and we can be proud, and he will be on the list for sure.
“We will do some FP1s together and it is probably the best way for me to know the guy, and to understand each other.
“We did the same last year with Charles and it was a good first step in the collaboration.”
He also downplayed the power Ferrari has in Sauber’s decision making: “We will discuss with Ferrari. It is not a matter of rights, but we will discuss together. It is not one list for one side and another one [for the other]…
“But I think at the end of the day for Alfa Romeo the most important is that the team is performing and we have to find the best line-up and the two best guys for the future of the team.”
1 comment on “Raikkonen could end up here in 2019”
I think it would be cool, would love to see him remain in the sport. He’d basically be in the same pos… https://t.co/YlOpm0JTW9