Sauber Formula 1 chief Frederic Vasseur is expecting to learn imminently whether Kimi Raikkonen will be allowed to test with the team in Abu Dhabi at the end of next month.

Current Ferrari F1 driver and recent race winner Raikkonen will join Sauber for 2019 on a two-year deal, partnering Antonio Giovinazzi next season.

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The Finn will make his final appearance for Ferrari at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, but has been linked with staying on at the Yas Marina Circuit in order to enjoy a first run-out with Sauber in its 2018 car at the post-season test.

Speaking in Mexico, Sauber team boss Vasseur said he expected to learn over the race weekend whether or not Raikkonen would be permitted to test for the team.

“We are still discussing, but I hope that we are able to take a decision during the weekend regarding Abu Dhabi,” Vasseur said.

Raikkonen claimed his first win in over five years at the United States Grand Prix earlier this month, and currently sits third in the drivers’ championship with three races remaining this year.

Vasseur was confident it would act as a boost to Sauber to have a driver of Raikkonen’s quality joining the team, acting as a reference point

“At least it will be a reference, that you are sure that you have someone in the car who is able to make it. It’s important for the engineer just to be focused on the car,” Vasseur said.

“He’s doing it, he did a pole position in Monza, he won last weekend in Austin and for sure it will be a good reference.

“I think we are still a young team, because we are also turning the company a lot, and to have this kind of leader it will be very helpful.”

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