Kimi Raikkonen has been praised by Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene after it was announced he will rejoin Sauber next season.
The Finn has been expected to leave the Italian outfit after it was leaked that Charles Leclerc would replace him last week.
It was officially announced today that Raikkonen was swapping places with the 20-year-old as he rejoins Sauber on a two-year deal.
Ferrari chief Arrivabene has since praised the Formula One veteran, insisting he will always be part of the team’s history.
“During these years, Kimi’s contribution to the team, both as a driver and on account of his human qualities, has been fundamental,” he said.
“He played a decisive role in the team’s growth and was, at the same time, always a great team player.
“As a world champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the team’s history and family.
“We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future.”
Raikkonen drove for Sauber during his debut season back in 2001 before joining McLaren just one year later.
And team boss Frederic Vasseur is happy to have the 38-year-old back on board.
“Signing Raikkonen as our driver represents an important pillar of our project, and brings us closer to our target of making significant progress as a team in the near future,” he said.
Ferrari’s new star Leclerc also released a statement of his own this morning, thanking his late father and also his friend Jules Bianchi, a former Ferrari starlet who tragically died nine months after crashing at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
“To a person that is not part of this world anymore but to whom I owe everything of what is happening to me, Papa,” said Leclerc.
“To Jules, thank you for all the things you learnt me, we will never forget you, and to all the persons that supported me and believed in me.
“I will work harder than ever to not disappoint you.
“But first, there is a season to finish with an amazing team that gave me the opportunity to fight and show my potential.”