The signing of Kimi Raikkonen from Ferrari is already paying off for the Sauber team. That is according to team principal Fred Vasseur who says that the Finn's signature is attracting many potential sponsors to the team with an eye on 2019 already.
Speaking to Autosport, Vasseur said that Raikkonen's return to the team was already paying off with the signing having positive effects in many areas.
“The announcement of Kimi was a huge push also in terms of marketing. We are receiving offers from every single area, from sponsors.
"I think we will discover the impact of Kimi’s situation week after week. On the grid, he’ll be with one of the three world champions next year, with Seb and Lewis, and he has a huge impact.
"I probably even underestimated the impact," Vasseur added. "I’m not a big fan of the social media, but I think it’s a huge thing.”
Vasseur also spoke about Raikkonen's intentions of rejoining Sauber, the team he began his F1 career with back in 2001 and said that it came as a surprise that the popular Finn wanted to continue on in F1 with the team.
“Kimi was a bit unexpected 12 months ago. But 12 months ago we were absolutely nowhere.
"I couldn’t imagine that I would have been convincing Kimi to join the team. But thanks to everybody in the company, we made a good improvement. I think Kimi will enjoy racing with us.
"It’s a huge push to consider that someone like Kimi could join the project - that he trusts the team, he trusts everybody in the team."