Motor Racing: Charles Leclerc to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2019

 Kimi Raikonen
Kimi Raikonen REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

Kimi Raikkonen will not race for Ferrari in next year's F1 World Championship and will be replaced by Sauber driver Charles Leclerc. The Finn has signed for Sauber, returning to the team where he started his F1 career.

Raikkonen leaves Ferrari after joining the team in 2014, which was his second spell with the iconic Italian racing team, after a successful three seasons between 2007 and 2009, where he won the driver's championship once.

He returns to Sauber which was the first team he raced for in F1 in 2001.

Meanwhile, his replacement is 20-year-old Leclerc, who was part of the Ferrari Young Driver program and has impressed in his current debut season in F1, scoring 13 points so far in the season in the Sauber with the Ferrari engine.

Leclerc is a highly rated driver who won the GP3 championship in 2016 and followed it up with the Formula 2 championship, which earned him a drive in F1 and with Sauber.

His highest finish in the current season has been a sixth-place finish at Baku in the Azerbaijan GP, while he has finished in the points in four other races as well.

Leclerc was mentored by the late Jules Bianchi, who was also part of the Ferrari Driver Academy but tragically passed away in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

He will hope to do him proud by winning a race, or maybe even a championship with Ferrari next year.