Räikkönen returns to Formula One
The ice man cometh; Kimi returns to F1 in 2012 with Lotus Renault GP
Kimi Räikkönen has announced his return to Formula One next year with Lotus Renault GP.
The 2007 F1 world champion returns after a somewhat tumultuous two seasons competing in the world rally championship, citing an "overwhelming hunger for F1" as the reason.
Says the Finn: "My time in the WRC has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but it was an easy choice to return with Lotus Renault GP as I have been impressed by the scope of the team's ambition. Now I'm looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid."
He brings with him a career record of 16 pole positions, 18 wins, and 62 podium finishes, and means that next year, there'll be no less than six world champions lining up on the grid (Kimi, Vettel, Button, Hamilton, Alonso and Schuey).
LR GP admits that Kimi's return is just the "first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future" (a new car, perhaps?), which begs the looming question of who the ‘ice man' will partner next year.
At the time of writing Lotus Renault couldn't confirm to TopGear.com, but don't forget Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean and the injured Robert Kubica are all still on the books, fighting over that last seat.
Who will it be? And are you excited by the return of the 32-year old Räikkönen?