Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has opened up about his upcoming move to Sauber, claiming that he is “actually very happy” to be leaving one of F1's most prestigious teams for the struggling Swiss outfit. The 39-year-old is set to join Sauber when the 2018 season concludes, bringing an end to his second spell with Ferrari and an eight year association with the Scuderia.
Kimi Raikkonen was in fine form last weekend, earning his 21st race victory at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. It was the Flying Finn's first win since 2013, when he topped the podium for Lotus in Australia, and was perhaps a fitting end to his impressive career with Ferrari.
The victory saw Raikkonen become the oldest competitor to win a Formula 1 race since British driver Nigel Mansell in 1994, and could well be the last time that fans get to see the 39-year-old grace the podium, as his prepares for a markedly different experience at Sauber next year.
Many have questioned Kimi's decision to join the team where he began his F1 career back in 2001, and each question has been met with a familiar icy response from the two-time world champion. Earlier this week however, Raikkonen finally decided to open up about the reasons behind his decision, and his plans for the near future.
“I think people don't understand I'm actually very happy where I'm going,” said Raikkonen. “I had my time with Ferrari, I won the championship with them. I won many races with them and for me, as a driver, I want different challenges, I want different things and I'm actually very happy to go there.”
“It's roughly 40 minutes from my home,” he said of Sauber's Hinwil base in Switzerland. “My family will be happy, I'm happy to be with my family.”
Adding: “I think it's probably the best thing. I wasn't really disappointed with the decision at any point. The only thing that I was interested in was to know what was going to happen. It doesn't matter if you have contracts or not, things happen for different reasons but I think the end result is that I'm very excited about it.”
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