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Raikkonen to Return to F1 Paddock
2007 champion to join Lotus in 2012
Posted Nov 30, 2011 by Chris White
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The 2007 Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen is to return to the F1 paddock for the 2012 season, after a two-year absence. Raikkonen, who has 18 race victories and 62 podium finishes in the sport makes his return after leaving in 2009 for a career in rallying.
Having held discussions with teams such as Williams in recent months, taking the place of veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, Raikkonen will join Lotus Renault, who will become Lotus in 2012, stating that it was “an easy choice” to join the team and return to the paddock.
The Finn, who won the title with Ferrari in 2007 before leaving at the end of the 2009 campaign, added “I have been impressed with the team’s ambition, and now I’m looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid.”
There have been a number of rumours bounding around the team, with Robert Kubica allegedly not returning to the team for 2012 after his rallying accident, but the Polish driver’s manager declared that he was still aiming to return.
It is likely that Raikkonen will be joined in the team by Vitaly Petrov, who has just completed his second season with the team, although this is yet to be confirmed after the Russian’s recent outburst on television, where he was critical of the team’s strategy in a number of races this season.
Watch a young Kimi Raikkonen overtaking two drivers in the wet while at McLaren: