Raikkonen reveals reasons behind Sauber move for first time

KIMI Raikkonen has revealed he is “actually very happy about” leaving Ferrari for Sauber at the end of the current Formula 1 season, after opening up about his move for the first time since it was announced in September.

The 39-year-old Finn, who became the oldest person to win a grand prix since Nigel Mansell in 1994 in Austin at the weekend, was told on the eve of Ferrari’s home race in Monza in September that he was to be dropped from the team after this season.

He has since signed a two-year deal with Sauber who, like himself and his family, are based in Switzerland, which Raikkonen admits was a key factor in his decision to join the Hinwil-based team.

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Raikkonen wins US Grand Prix0:00

F1: Kimi Raikkonen has claimed a thrilling victory in the US Grand Prix. The GP win is his first since 2013. Meanwhile Aussie Daniel Ricciardo retired for the seventh time this season.

“I don’t think people understand I am actually very happy with where I am going,” Raikkonen said. “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 (where Sauber are based). My family will be happy and I am happy to be with my family.”

US GRAND PRIX: Kimi’s historic win by numbers

Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first win in 113 races in Austin at the weekend.Source:AFP

Charles Leclerc will replace Raikkonen at Ferrari but after winning the title with the Italian outfit in 2007 – during the first of two spells with the team – the Finn insisted he will leave without any hard feelings towards them.

“I think it was probably the best thing,” he said. “I wasn’t really disappointed with the decision at any point.

“The only thing 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.”

Originally published as Raikkonen reveals reasons behind Sauber move for first time

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