The double world champion’s move from Renault has been anticipated
for many months, and will see him paired with Felipe Massa in the
Italian squad’s race team.
"We are very proud to welcome to our team another winning driver,
who has demonstrated his amazing talent by winning two world
championships in his career to date," said Ferrari team boss Stefano
Alonso’s arrival is likely to see Raikkonen returning to his former team McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn delivered the world championship for Ferrari in his first
season with the team in 2007, but his results have declined since and
he will leave the squad a year before his contract had been set to
"Of course, we wish to thank Kimi for everything he has done during
his time with Ferrari," said Domenicali. "In his first year with us, he
managed to win the drivers’ title, thus making his contribution to
Ferrari’s history and he played a vital role in our taking of the
constructors’ title in 2007 and 2008.
"Even during a difficult season like this one, he has demonstrated
his great talent, with several good results, including a great win in
Spa and we are sure that we can share more good times together in the
final three races of this season."
Raikkonen underlined that his departure from Ferrari had been by mutual consent.
"With common consent, we have agreed to terminate the contract
binding me to Ferrari to the end of 2010, one year ahead of schedule,"
"I am very sad to be leaving a team with which I have spent three fantastic years, during which time I won plenty of races.
"Together, we have won 50 per cent of the world titles in that
period and I managed to take the drivers’ title in 2007, thus achieving
the target I had set myself at the start of my career. I have always
felt at home with everyone here and I will have many happy memories of
my time with the team."
Alonso’s confirmation at Ferrari is likely to trigger a series of
2010 driver announcements over the coming days, with the Spaniard’s
move long tipped as the decision that would allow the rest of the
‘silly season’ jigsaw to fall into place.
McLaren says it is yet to decide the identity of Lewis Hamilton’s 2010 team-mate.
Today’s confirmation that Fernando Alonso would make his
long-anticipated move to Ferrari in 2010 has led to suggestions that
McLaren will soon announce that Kimi Raikkonen will be returning to the
Woking squad after a three-year absence to partner Hamilton next season.
But McLaren insisted that its second seat remained open at present.
"As is already in the public domain, Lewis Hamilton is contracted until the end of the 2012 season," said a McLaren spokesman.
"As regards the identity of our other driver for 2010 and beyond, we have not yet made a decision."
Hamilton’s current team-mate Heikki Kovalainen has had a
disappointing 2009 season, struggling to match the world champion for
race pace in particular.
Sources have suggested to AUTOSPORT that Raikkonen is close to deal
to take Kovalainen’s place. Raikkonen previously drove for McLaren from
2002 to 2006 – winning nine races and coming close to two world
championships during this period – before leaving for Ferrari.