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Leclerc to replace Raikkonen at Ferrari

Charles Leclerc is heading to Ferrari. Credit: PA

Charles Leclerc will join Ferrari next year after Kimi Raikkonen was dropped by the Italian team.

Raikkonen, who won the world championship in his first spell at Ferrari in 2007, has signed a two-year deal with Sauber, the Swiss team with whom he began his Formula One career nearly two decades ago.

Raikkonen, the last driver to win a world title for Ferrari, will be 41 at the conclusion of his new Sauber contract.

Monegasque Leclerc, 20, has impressed in his first season with Sauber, and the Ferrari junior driver will now switch seats with Raikkonen to team up with Sebastian Vettel next season.

Raikkonen to leave Ferrari at the end of the season

Raikkonen will leave Ferrari. Credit: PA

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen will leave Ferrari at the end of the season.

The Formula 1 team announced the departure of the 2007 champion in a statement on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Finn has driven for Ferrari in two spells, from 2007 to 2009 and from 2014 to the current season.

"During these years, Kimi's contribution to the team, both as a driver and on account of his human qualities, has been fundamental. He played a decisive role in the team's growth and was, at the same time, always a great team player," Ferrari said.

"As a world champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the team's history and family. We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future."

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Former Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne passes away aged 66

Former Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has died aged 66, it has been announced. Credit: PA

Former Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has died aged 66, it has been announced.

Marchionne was stood down from his role only on Saturday following complications from shoulder surgery.

John Elkann, who was confirmed as Marchionne's replacement, said in a statement issued on Wednesday: "Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone."

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Vettel raises bar in Barcelona F1 pre-season testing

The four-time champion is vying to return to the pinnacle of the sport this season. Credit: PA

Sebastian Vettel raised the bar on the penultimate morning of Formula One's pre-season testing by setting an unofficial track record at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

The four-time champion smashed Daniel Ricciardo's lap time from Wednesday by nearly a whole second as Ferrari showed their impressive hand with just one full day of practice remaining.

Vettel, 30, became the first driver over the two weeks of testing to dip beneath the one minute 18 mark with an effort of 1:17.182. The German also recorded 84 laps, with Valtteri Bottas the only driver to have managed more miles.

Kvyat joins Ferrari for 2018 campaign

Ferrari have named Daniil Kvyat as the team's development driver. Credit: PA

Ferrari have named Daniil Kvyat as the team's development driver for the 2018 season.

The announcement comes three months after the Russian was dropped by Toro Rosso following the 2017 United States Grand Prix.

Kvyat, who has two podium finishes in his 72 career starts, had been linked with a move to Williams this year.

The 23-year-old joined the Red Bull junior programme in 2010 and made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso four years later.

Kvyat finished second at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix before claiming another podium with a third-placed finish in China the following year.

Vettel staying with Ferrari after signing three-year deal

Sebastian Vettel is staying with Ferrari. Credit: PA

Sebastian Vettel will remain at Ferrari after it was announced he has agreed a new three-year contract.

Championship leader Vettel, who heads Lewis Hamilton by 14 points in the title race ahead of tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix, will now be committed to the Italian team until the end of the 2020 season.

The length of Vettel's contract ends speculation he could join forces with Mercedes, and the likelihood of Hamilton moving in the opposite direction when his deal expires next year.

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