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No sadness at Ferrari exit, insists Raikkonen

By Opta
Kimi Raikkonen (centre) set for final race as a Ferrari driver in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, November 23: Leaving Ferrari will not cause Kimi Raikkonen to shed a tear - because he has already left the team once before.

Raikkonen heads into his final race as a Ferrari driver in Abu Dhabi this weekend before he returns to Sauber for the 2019 season.

Sunday's trip around the Yas Marina Circuit will be the Finn's 150th for Ferrari, the 38-year-old having won 10 times over two spells.

But rather than feel sad at leaving a team he has represented more than any other, Raikkonen insists it will be easy to move on.

"Obviously I had this leaving them once already so it's not a new thing," he told a news conference.

"I'm not sad because I don't see why we need to be sad. We will stay as friends.

"We're going to see a lot of anyhow in the paddock so not an awful lot changes.

"We'll both go for new things and I think it's exciting but we've had good times with the team, great people. We've had some difficult times, but that's part of business and I think that's how it should go: sometimes it needs to be a bit hard.

"Obviously I won the championship with them, as a driver. We twice won the team so I'm very happy to be part of it because there's not many people who have done it.

"We will happily go different ways. We're not that far away from each other and we will keep doing what we do."

Sauber will present a different kind of challenge for the 2007 world champion, and it is one that he is relishing.

"I think we have a good chance to do some great things," he added. "Where that's going to take us, who knows.

"It's a much smaller team than where I've been now, at Ferrari, but I'm really looking forward to it.

"It's going to be different in many ways but the aim is still the same, do well in the races. I think it's more pure racing and less the other stuff.

"Hopefully it will turn out to be good for both of us, that's our aim. I have a good feeling about it and I'm excited to go there."

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    Story first published: Friday, November 23, 2018, 4:10 [IST]
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