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Thursday, 7 December, 2000, 18:33 GMT
Sauber hand Raikkonen drive
Kimi Raikkonen becomes Sauber's new driver for 2001
Kimi Raikkonen becomes Sauber's new driver for 2001
The Sauber Formula One team have confirmed Kimi Raikkonen as their new driver for the forthcoming season.

The Finn was granted a Formula One super license by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) at a meeting in Monte Carlo on Thursday.

The 21-year-old will partner German Nick Heidfeld at the Swiss-based team.

"Kimi was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FIA the qualities that attracted us in the first place," said team chief Peter Sauber.

I will be doing everything I can to justify the faith that Sauber and the governing body have placed in me
  Kimi Raikkonen
"We are delighted to establish a relationship with a young driver who shows such clear promise for the future.

"By signing Nick (Heidfeld) and now Kimi, I believe we are sending a clear message of our intention to combine an investment in youth."

Testing pressure

Raikkonen, who won the British Formula Renault title last season, believes he has the ability to perform at the highest level, despite his inexperience in single-seater races.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me," Raikkonen said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Formula One testing although there was pressure on me to prove myself to the FIA.

"Now I will be doing everything I can in 2001 to justify the faith that Peter Sauber, his team and the governing body have placed in me."

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