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Formula One: Raikkonen Signs New Ferrari Deal For 2018

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Scuderia Ferrari are ready to sign 20-year-old Charles Leclerc, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, to replace 38-year-old Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 champion, starting in the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Raikkonen is in his 16th season as a Formula 1 driver and his eighth season driving for Ferrari. He drove for Ferrari from the 2007 season to the 2009 season before leaving the sport until the 2012 season, which is when he returned and drove for Lotus. He drove for Lotus in both the 2012 season and the 2013 season.

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Raikkonen returned to Ferrari in the 2014 season, and he has driven for the team ever since. He is currently driving for the team alongside four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel, and he is driving for the team on a one-year deal for the third consecutive season.

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With the news that Ferrari are ready to replace him with Leclerc in the 2019 season, the odds of Raikkonen getting a fourth consecutive one-year deal and remaining with the team are small, especially since he has not won a race since he returned to the team in the 2014 season.

While Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have combined to win each of the last 102 races, which dates back to the second race of the 2013 season, Raikkonen has not stood atop the podium during that span.

Ironically, the last race that was not won by a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull Racing driver was the 2013 season opener, the Australian Grand Prix, and that race was won by Raikkonen when he was driving in his second and final season for Lotus.

Leclerc, meanwhile, is in his rookie Formula 1 season, and he has had an extremely impressive season thus far. He drives for Alfa Romeo Sauber, the team that have finished in 10th place in the constructor standings in each of the last three seasons, including twice when 10th was last or tied for last, yet he had secured three top 10 finishes through seven races so far this season.

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In fact, all three of Leclerc’s top 10 finishes so far this season have come in the last four races. He finished in a career-high sixth place, which was the highest finish by a Sauber driver since the 2015 season, in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season, and he finished in 10th in both the Spanish Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix, the sixth and seventh races of the season, respectively.

>Next: Top 10 Formula 1 drivers of all-time

 

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With Ferrari ready to replace Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc in the 2019 Formula 1 season, will they end up doing so? How would this affect the contract situation of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who many people believe Ferrari will likely sign to replace Raikkonen? Nothing has been confirmed yet, so there is sure to be tons of speculation regarding this situation in the near future.


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Source : https://beyondtheflag.com/2018/06/21/formula-1-ferrari-ready-replace-kimi-raikkonen-charles-leclerc-2019/

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