While it has been widely reported that Ferrari are considering Leclerc for next season, earlier this week Swiss publication Blick reported that Raikkonen could be signed as the Monaco driver’s replacement.
That would see the Finn return to the team with whom he began his Formlua 1 career in 2001.
Asked if Sauber could handle the pressure of racing a World Champion, team boss Fred Vasseur told Autosport: “It is a problem for the rich?
“I don’t care, I want to have the best guys into the car, this is the most important for the team, and no sacrifice with performance.
“It is much better to have a World Champion than someone who won nothing.
“I am just focused on performance. The most important for me is to have the best line-up for next year and the future. That is my only concern.”
Vasseur, though, insists he won’t let the fact that Raikkonen or any driver has a history with Sauber sway his decision.
“Honestly, it would not be a good approach,” he said.
“In the driver selection and choice, it is important to have a common approach and not because I ran with a guy in F3 15 years ago, or he drove for Sauber 10 years ago.”
Raikkonen spent a year with Sauber, scoring nine points on his way to 10th in the championship. The following season he moved to McLaren.