Kimi Raikkonen: Sauber has 'everything' it needs to build 'great car'
Kimi Raikkonen believes Sauber has the facilities and resources it needs in order to produce a “great car” in Formula 1 next season.
Raikkonen has re-joined Sauber on a two-year contract after spending five seasons with Ferrari, and tested its C37 during post-season running in Abu Dhabi last month.
Sauber, for whom Raikkonen raced in his rookie campaign in 2001, was one of the most improved teams both year-on-year and through the course of the campaign.
Having scored only five points en route to a distant last in the standings in 2017 it finished eighth in the 2018 Constructors’ Championship, on 48 points, and occasionally held the fourth-fastest package, with Charles Leclerc classifying seventh at each of the final three races.
“I am excited,” Raikkonen said of his new chapter with Sauber.
“It’s different obviously [to Ferrari] but I think obviously I’ve been in the team, there’s lots of different people now [compared to 2001].
“But I think they have all the tools, they have a great wind tunnel, they have everything to build a great car, have a Ferrari engine so we know what we’re going to get.
“I don’t see reason why we couldn’t do good job out of it.
“Where that takes us we’ll see next year.”
Raikkonen also admitted his surprise that there was not a bigger difference between Sauber's C37 that he tested in Abu Dhabi and the Ferrari SF71H that he had raced through 2018.
“For me it was important to try the car and see if there were big things we need to fix, but it was pretty straightforward,” he said, speaking ahead of Friday evening's FIA Gala in St. Petersburg.
“To be honest it wasn’t a lot [of] different feelings, I probably expected a bigger difference, but we were just testing tyres, didn’t do set-up work, we did laps to try to see what is what.
“I think as a first experience it was okay.”
Raikkonen will partner Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber next year.