Kimi Raikkonen says he is “very happy” to be swapping Ferrari for Sauber in 2019, having proved that his top-level racing talent remains intact by winning the United States Grand Prix. Raikkonen ended a wait of more than five years for his 21st grand prix victory, and said he was happy to prove people wrong with his triumph.
Although he has finished behind his teammate each year since returning to Maranello, Raikkonen said Sunday’s success showed he still belongs in Formula 1.
“Obviously we had a pretty rough two races and I’m proving people certain things,” he said. “I might be getting older but it’s not too bad still. Maybe I’m OK to be [here] a few years more.”
Asked if the win proved Ferrari should have kept him, the Finn said he had nothing to prove to the Scuderia.
“No. For sure I didn’t mean on that side,” he said.
“I think people don’t understand I’m actually very happy where I’m going.
“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. For sure my family will be happy, I’m happy to be with my family. 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 and that’s the only thing.
“The rest, I’ve been long enough in F1 to know that things… 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.”