Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber, Yas Marina

Raikkonen expected Sauber to feel more different to Ferrari

2019 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen says he expected Sauber’s F1 car to feel more different than the Ferrari he has driver this year.

He tested the car for the first time in Abu Dhabi last week. Speaking at the FIA Gala press conference today Raikkonen said “it felt very similar to what I’m used to.

“Obviously it’s a different car, [different] looking, a bit different wheels and stuff. But to be honest it wasn’t all a different feeling. I probably expected a bigger difference.

“We just tested the tyres, we didn’t do any set-up work, just drove the car, did laps and tried to see what is what. I think as a first experience it was OK.”

Some of the team’s staff are still present from his first stint at the team in 2001.

“I don’t know the exact number, obviously at the factory I met some guys that we met a few years ago,” he said. “My memory is bad but I can remember everybody so it’s nice to see.”

Raikkonen believes the team has everything in place to be competitive next year. “I think they have all the tools. They have a great wind tunnel, they have everything to build a great car.

“Obviously we have a Ferrari engine so we know what we are going to get. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do a good job out of it. Where it’s going to take us we will see next year.”

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25 comments on “Raikkonen expected Sauber to feel more different to Ferrari”

  1. I expect 5th in the WCC to be the best Sauber could achieve next season (6th if Mclaren could finally get their act together), although even those positions are going to be difficult to achieve considering the competitiveness of Haas and RPF1.

    1. I think Sauber’s got a fair shot at best of the rest next season. Their end of season form this year put them pretty close to Haas, Force India’s and Renault’s pace. Additionally, they’ve got a few tech bigwigs from Ferrari now working at Sauber. They are now Ferrari’s preferred ‘B’ team and have an experienced driver that can drive development forward.

      Next year the midfield battle should be as intense… but if I had to guess, I would put Renault in P4, Sauber in P5 and RPFI in P6.

      1. I think Sauber’s got a fair shot at best of the rest next season. Their end of season form this year put them pretty close to Haas, Force India’s and Renault’s pace.

        @todfod – the only cautionary statement I’d make is that the end of season form can be a bit misleading, since it often means that those teams who might have started focusing on the 2019 aero regs might not have been developing their car as much. I’d be thrilled if your statement is true, but would be a little concerned whether the Sauber team have the depth of staff to have been running both a 2018 and 2019 development programme in parallel.

        1. @phylyp

          I thought they did ramp up their engineering department with the hiring of Simone Resta. I’m assuming he would be more involved with their 2019 car. Also, I’m pretty sure they’re financially stable now.. and that’s a big deal for a team that has been nearly bankrupt since 2014. When they had a decent amount of funds they’ve built stellar midfield cars.. like they did in 2012.

          Force India and Sauber should have an interesting battle, as they both maximise the efficiency of their budget really well. Haas on the other hand don’t know how to build or design a car, and are pretty much reliant on Ferrari doing the job for them. So, I don’t really see Haas moving upwards. Toro Rosso isn’t going anywhere forward with Honda power and Mclaren seems in shambles. Williams have too large a gap to claw back.. so it might not happen next season for them.

          You can say I’m cautiously optimistic for them next season.

          1. I thought they did ramp up their engineering department

            @todfod – OK, that is reason for optimism, and I look forward to 2019. It’d definitely be nice to see Kimi duking it out on track without the pressures of Ferrari.

          2. georgeboole (@)
            7th December 2018, 21:15

            @todfod so that means you don’t think Red Bull is going anywhere forward with the Honda PU?
            I d really like to see Honda do a decent job next year although I doubt they will so the RB super chassis won’t go anywhere.
            To the Sauber subject I too would love to see Kimi on the podium again. That will prove Ferrari was wrong supporting Vettel more. But that’s just an assumption.

            P.S. I just read that Jean Todd watched the Brazilian GP with Schumacher. Don’t know if that is true but I d love some news on this.

          3. From your level of experience and still claiming Ferrari is designing Haas’ car? It’s getting really stale considering it couldn’t possibly make a dime sense in reality.

          4. @Jaggernauth

            Well.. maybe I don’t have enough experience. But I’ve been watching F1 for 22 years now and I haven’t seen two cars more similar than Ferrari’s 2017 challenger and Hass’ 2018 challenger.

            If you disagree with my reality.. maybe mention two cars that have been more similar that don’t share a “partnership” together.

    2. Charles Leclerc was clearly one of the top 3 drivers this years, if not the outright best, so the final WCC standing flatters the car. With cloned drivers, the F1metric model rates Sauber-Ferrari as the 8th team, only ahead of McL and Williams

      1. hyoko, Whilst the author of the F1Metrics post has tentatively ranked Leclerc that high, it is with the explicit caveat that it is potentially biased by the fact that he is a rookie driver and that Ericsson, although rated as a reasonably competent driver by him (seemingly more highly rated than some seem to credit him), is a bit of a difficult benchmark to use.

        It is also worth noting that his pre-season predictions of Sauber’s performance did also have the caveat that he had considerable difficulty with getting enough data on Sauber for his analysis to be truly robust, so there was some uncertainty over whether Sauber were quite that poor.

    3. It all comes down to the budget though, doesn’t it? The mid-field battle will be won by the team that will have good package out of the box and would be able to keep developing it throughout the entire season. That could be anyone from McLaren, Sauber, Racing Point, Toro Rosso, Haas or Williams. With factory resources, Renault should be able to stay ahead of them all…

    4. Haas are going to be nowhere next season, just like 2017 when they didn’t have a year old Ferrari to copy (due to the reg change). The aero fundamentals are going to be quite different next year and they will be nowhere without a representative Ferrari to copy paste.

  2. Ferrari drivers often seem a bit stressed out, so I can imagine he might have more fun at Sauber even if its a few seconds further back

    1. And probably a bit more wheel by wheel action for us and him to enjoy. Which would be fun to see – he`d probably be a bit better at it with less pressure, too.
      Midfield should be a good place to watch next year – even more fun if Renault doesnt run away to Formula 1.25.

      1. @minilemm

        Red Bull has a decent chance of joining Formula 1.25 with the power of dreams.

      2. @minilemm – I agree with @todfod, I think it quite likely that we’d get a Formula 1.25 with RBR and Renault there, with them moving slightly backwards/forwards respectively.

        1. Mmm yeah. No way for us to know about that before testing. So much was said about Honda recent years and yet I have the feeling that I have little to none information to help guesstimate their possible performance for next season.

          1. Try looking at the 2014-2018 F1 seasons. You really should have been paying attention if you’re going to be posting about F1.

    2. Kimi is not a natural #2 driver. I’m hoping to see the “exciting Kimi” at his most competitive and not the “phoning it in Kimi” who has appeared more than once during his career. I think watching Kimi will be fun this year.

  3. Is Kimi unique in rejoining two teams – Ferrari and Sauber?
    Actually no, of course not. Alonso returned to Renault and to McLaren. Any others?

    1. @nickwyatt, Andrea de Cesaris comes to mind, as he made a return to both Alfa Romeo and Jordan: Gerhard Berger, having gone back to Ferrari and to Benetton, is another driver as well.

  4. I guess Force India has another team that they can call the “antithesis of a constructor”. ;)

  5. Kimi is rather underestimated as a developer and now he will finally have impact majority. It could become quite a strong combo.

  6. Kimi had a job to do at Ferrari, now he can race again with a Sauber

  7. Funny how he mentioned that wind tunnel – Sauber got it because Ron Dennis paid a handsome sum to get Kimi in his mclaren 😃

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