Ferrari close to 2019 driver announcement – reports
Ferrari could announce their driver line-up for 2019 within the next 48 hours according to several reports.
Sky Italia are reporting that a meeting at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello has been called for Thursday with a formal announcement on their driver line-up to follow after.
Sebastian Vettel already has a long-term agreement with the Scuderia until the end of the 2020 season, but the question of who is team-mate is going to be has been one of the biggest stories of the 2018 campaign.
Ferrari academy product and reigning F2 World Champion, Charles Leclerc, has continued his meteoric rise in Formula 1 with five points finishes for Sauber in his first rookie season.
His eye-catching performances put him firmly on Ferrari’s radar for 2019, but current Scuderia driver Kimi Raikkonen has since responded with six podium finishes in his last seven races to keep himself in the frame.
Ferrari’s dilemma on which driver to pick became even more complicated when reports emerged that an agreement with Leclerc was already in place with ex-Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne.
But following his sad passing, his replacement, Louis Camilleri, was understood to be keen on keeping Raikkonen for another season instead.
Now Italy’s Corriere dello Sport are reporting that Raikkonen was told at the Italian Grand Prix that his contract with Ferrari would not be renewed for 2019, with Leclerc set to make the huge step up from Sauber.
If Raikkonen is to be shown the exit door by Ferrari, it will most likely bring the curtain down on a 16-season Formula 1 career, with a return to former team Sauber not enough to tempt the 38-year-old to stay in the sport.
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