Raikkonen was contracted to remain at Ferrari for one more season. Despite having won the title for them in 2007, the team are letting him go one year early in his contract, which can only be interpreted as a reflection on his performance.
Felipe Massa clearly out-performed him last year, but Raikkonen has had a resurgence in the second half of this season, including a victory at Spa-Francorchamps.
Giancarlo Fisichella will remain with the Italian team as a test driver.
The development sets up two fascinating driver partnerships for 2010, the first of which is Alonso and Massa at Ferrari.
The pair had a heated row after clashing on the final lap at the Nurburgring in 2007. Massa will in all likelihood prove the closest match to Alonso’s talent since he partnered Lewis Hamilton two seasons ago.
Hamilton, meanwhile, will surely face a stiffer challenge from Raikkonen if he does indeed take the place of Heikki Kovalainen next year.
Anyone else really looking forward to 2010 now?
F1 2010 driver moves