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2018 F1

Leclerc to Ferrari, Raikkonen to Sauber for 2019 F1

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Sauber F1 team chief Fred Vasseur has not ruled out the proposal that a swap deal with Ferrari that would see Kimi Raikkonen returning to Sauber, where he started his Formula 1 career and Charles Leclerc joining to the Italian outfit.

Some trusted F1 news source reporting that, Leclerc could join to Ferrari and Raikkonen to Sauber for next season. 2019 F1 drive line-up news strengthened following Mercedes’ confirmation that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are being stayed.

The young rising star Leclerc has shows series of remarkable performances to install himself as a top contender to partner championship leader Sebastian Vettel next year -– if Ferrari decided to make a change in their line-up.

Vasseur admitted he was mindful of the possibility that Raikkonen could return to the team where he started his career and remain within the Ferrari “family”.

He said it would be no problem for his team.

“I want to have the best guys in the car, this is the most important for the team, and no sacrifice with performance,” he said.

“It is much better to have a world champion than someone who won nothing.

“I am just focused on performance. The most important for me is to have the best line-up for next year and the future. That is my only concern.”

Kimi, the 2007 world champion, made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001. Leclerc, 20, a Ferrari charge, is still in his rookie season after making his debut in Australia this year.

Vasseur added: “We will discuss it with Ferrari. It is not a matter of rights, but we will discuss it together.”

Lance Stroll is being linked with a move to Force India for 2019 after struggling in Williams’ unacceptable season and with support from his billionaire father, one of the richest businessmen in Canada, he is an attractive choice.

“I’m not worried about it -– it’s that time of season when there are a lot of stories about drivers,” said Williams F1 tech head Paddy Lowe.

“We would love to stay with Lance, but we are at an open point.”

When asked about the Force India rumours at Hockenheim, 19-year-old Stroll answered: “I’m really focused on the race and won’t comment on these rumours.

“Yes, this year we were surprised and shocked by the performance of the car. But I would like to make progress and I want to win races. Why not with Williams?”

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