Kimi Raikkonen to return to F1 with Renault in 2012

2012 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen will return to Formula 1 in 2012 with Renault.

The team, which is set to become Lotus, announced on Tuesday the 2007 world champion would join them for next season.

Raikkonen, who last raced in Formula 1 with Ferrari in 2009, signed a two-year deal with the team.

Raikkonen said: “I?m delighted to be coming back to Formula 1 after a two-year break, and I?m grateful to Lotus Renault GP for offering me this opportunity.

“My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can?t deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming.

“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.??

Gerard Lopez, chairman of teams owners Genii, said: “All year long, we kept saying that our team was at the start of a brand new cycle. Backstage we?ve been working hard to build the foundations of a successful structure and to ensure that we would soon be able to fight at the highest level.

“Kimi?s decision to come back to Formula 1 with us is the first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future. Of course, we are all looking forward to working with a world champion. On behalf of our staff, I?d like to welcome Kimi to Enstone, a setting that has always been known for its human approach to Formula 1.”

Raikkonen’s return means a record six world champions will compete alongside each other. He joins Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.

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376 comments on Kimi Raikkonen to return to F1 with Renault in 2012

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  1. Girts (@girts) said on 29th November 2011, 8:03

    F1 can still surprise. But I just don’t see how this partnership could turn into the winning combination Raikkonen and Lopez are talking about. Raikkonen seems to come back just because he hasn’t been able to find a better way to spend his time despite his previous statements that WRC was a better place than F1 and that he didn’t want to drive for losers like Toyota. Moreover, Lotus/Renault isn’t a factory team anymore and I just don’t believe in Lotus’ ability to create ‘a successful structure’, they haven’t proved that so far. So I think they’re heading for a complete disaster but I hope I’m wrong.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th November 2011, 8:15

      and that he didn’t want to drive for losers like Toyota.

      Not entirely unreasonable given they were pulling out of F1 for 2010!

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 29th November 2011, 8:24

      of course he said he don’t want to driver for non-top teams. However if Kimi want to come back and all seats of top 4 teams secured, there’s no option at all. Williams window seems closed, though it’s bit of surprise there’s still a window in Renault, it’s almost sole solution.

      Actually I think this is a good sign for him. It means he really want to fight and prove his motivation is genuine. so We will see whether His skill is still great or his motivation is genuine.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 29th November 2011, 9:22

      If by “factory team” you mean a team backed by an automobile constructor, you’re missing the point, once the last three WDC and WCC have been won so called “private teams”.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 29th November 2011, 9:52

        In fact, McLaren are a private team too (though heavily backed by Mercedes until end of season 2009), so you could almost argue that the last WDC/WCC won by a constructor is the 2007 WDC of Kimi himself, with Ferrari!

        Last year Renault showed great promise, this year things fell through for lots of reasons, but they were looking for a leader, and Kubica can’t be that leader right now; seems Kimi fancies that role.

        It could be magic, or it might fizz out. Will be interesting to see either way, I think.

        • Puffy (@puffy) said on 29th November 2011, 11:58

          Ferrari won WCC in 2008.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2011, 13:35

          Do Ferrari count as a manufacturer or privateer? That they started making road cars to support racing makes me wonder how you define it. If they exist for F1 and road manufacture is secondary or at least equal/not primary focus then are they still ‘privateers’? If Ferrari are classified a manufacturer team then at what point does McLaren become one? Or Caterham or Marussia for that matter.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2011, 15:01

            @Keithcollantine I’d be quite interested to know what you know/think please.

          • USARalph said on 29th November 2011, 17:13

            @Matt90: Ferrari and Mercedes are the only manufacturers left in F1. Practically speaking, a manufacturer builds both the engine and chassis. Everyone in F1 is required to build their own chassis, but privateers use a third party engine. Since Renault sold their F1 team to Boullier, Lux et al, Renault is only an engine supplier, and LRGP is a privateer.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th November 2011, 17:41

            @matt90 Today, manufacturer.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2011, 18:50

            Great thanks. So if McLaren take their road car engine-building to the next level and become F1 engine suppliers they become manufactures. Seems obvious, don’t know why I didn’t realise.

          • UKFan (@) said on 29th November 2011, 22:01

            Officially manufacturer practically privateer. the small difference between the Mercedes and Ferrari lies on the fact that Mercedes is much recent but that doesnt mean in fact that both dont act as privateer teams cause both have a certain distance from the manufacturer, Mercedes for example is based in Britain having big majoraty of English staff but the technical directions come from above in Frankfurt wherareas the money comes from both German sponsors and Petronas, in the case of Ferrari everything is italian apart from some technical staff and the chassis base and research in the UK, what im trying to say is that both Mercedes and Ferrari also struggle for money despite having big backup from their owners. Its more about publicity

      • Girts (@girts) said on 29th November 2011, 10:50

        Well Brawn would never have been that successful without Honda’s resources that allowed them to build the BGP001. But, of course, you’re right by pointing out that RBR ain’t a car manufacturer as well. I rather meant to say that Lotus Renault GP has lost the strong backing that the Renault company once ensured. They need money – the current drivers line-up (Senna&Petrov) proves that. They’ve regressed a lot over the 2011 season. I believe that there were good reasons for Petrov’s recent outburst. Petrov isn’t known as a whiner, he knows that his own performance hasn’t been excellent and that he’s in F1 mostly because of his sponsors so I think the team really suffers from serious internal problems if he couldn’t stay quiet. The team’s choice of sponsors is unconvincing, too. Vladimir Antonov isn’t exactly the partner you should make business with if you’re a serious and respectable company / F1 team. All these factors make me sceptical about their future prospects.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 29th November 2011, 15:12

          Apparently Bruno Senna cannot make OGX (part of Group EBX, of Eike Baptista who’s Brazil’s richest man) give more money, so they’re dumping him for Kimi who (reportedly) is bringing some petrodollars from the UAE.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 29th November 2011, 12:06

      On paper this is a good deal for both parties. Kimi is bored, and isn’t going to get the top-flight opportunities in other motorsports he wants without doing a lot of tedious groundwork, which he’s apparently not interested in. Renault have acres of drivers on their books, but being honest about it, most of them are middle rankers at best (yes Grosjean fans, that includes him. Especially him, in fact). Kubica was their only top-rank driver, and he’s not going to be ready in time. This deal solves both their problems neatly.

      The reality however is possibly the opposite. Kimi yawned his way through his last two years with Ferrari, and likes to have a simple team to work with (Ron berating him for breaking a fragile car, and the endless pressure and politicking of Ferrari clearly didn’t agree with him).

      Boullier, who is in his first Team Principal role, has managed to annoy senior, well respected technical staff into leaving by bringing in John Wickham to judge them (a man whose achievements hardly qualify him to pass judgement on multiple F1 champion winning staff) – only to have Wickham leave after a few months. He’s also managed to alienate his only decent driver in a series of pointless brinkmanship manoevres. He’s started to embarrass himself and I doubt he has the man management skills to keep Kimi motivated.

      All that will fall by the wayside if by some miracle they produce a winning car next year. They’ve 4 amazingly strong teams to leapfrog in order to achieve that, however.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 29th November 2011, 13:28

        hmm.. very interesting observation… ill definitely keep an eye on how Boullier runs the team next year.. but certainly it is going to be an exciting season …

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th November 2011, 15:48

        The latest interview with Kimi about his reasons for a comeback are solidly in line with what you said there @hairs

        But when I did some NASCAR races this year I noticed that I was increasingly missing the racing side – to race against each other – because in rallying you really race against the clock.

        and to the reason of why back to F1 (instead of trying something different)

        It has been really nice to try to learn rallying in the last few years. On some days it was hard. It’s been easier this year than last year but still it’s a very difficult sport. I’m really looking forward to coming back. At least Formula 1 is something where I know how everything works as I’ve been there for many years – compared to rallying when I didn’t know what would really happen. Then I went to NASCAR and I had no clue how it would be. So in that way it should be much, much easier to come back and it should be pretty normal.

        On a different note, I really liked these lines about how F1 is easier in a way, compared to rallye:

        I certainly remember all the braking and how quickly everything happens. But compared to rallying, say, you have slightly more time. In rallying, it doesn’t give you a second chance. When you make a mistake you go off. There are no run-off areas and there are trees. In Formula 1 you have a lot of run-off areas, you can run a bit wide and it is not such a big deal. You lose a lap in the practice or in qualifying but in the race you maybe don’t even lose a place.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th November 2011, 16:32

        That interview is out on video as well –

      • LordHesketh said on 29th November 2011, 16:50

        Yup. I promise this will be the last time I mention it around here, but Eric Boullier is the worst team principal in F1. Absolutely useless as a manager.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 29th November 2011, 20:39

          I was excited when he joined as such a young team principal, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy, but I’m beginning to think you’re right. He hasn’t looked too competent this year in particular. According to Will Buxton there are likely still some major shaekups to come at the team in upper management. Could it be the end of Boullier as team principal?

    • He left McLaren for a good reason. McLaren failed to give him competitive machinery during his tenure with them, and were too critical of an extremely talented man (i look at Ron “loudmouth” Dennis). Ferrari were too political but when they signed Kimi i thought, a change was about. I guess after seeing what Kimi did with McLaren and Ferrari, he needed to take some time off and “rediscover love” for F1. Now he’s back, as he wants to race again, not trundle about, and that’s just my line of thought, but is plausible.

    • Define “factory” the team are backed by car maker Proton.

    • I pray that both Schumacher and Kimi show the grid what they’re worth. Next year… there’s Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel, Kimi, Button, Webber, Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg to watch.

      Funny thing! As gripping as the racing will be next year, the silly season that follows can be even better. Hamilton’s contract is up for renewal… It will be interesting to see who’ll move to McLaren next. Schumacher and Rosberg won’t leave McLaren i guess. Alonso/ Kimi wouldn’t want to relive a nightmare, even though Whitmarsh may support either of them. Vettel is having a time of his life at RBR. I don’t think any one else other than Kubica/ Massa/ Webber will have intentions of moving to McLaren, if and when Hamilton leaves. The million dollar question is, if Hamilton moves, where does he go? Ferrari though they rate him, may not be so keen on his services, as Alonso sure will have something to say about it. Or, may be he already knows Ham is headed there, and thus the niceties exchanged between the duo? If not Ferrari then RBR, and Webber could be slotted right in.

  2. Derfel17 (@derfel17) said on 29th November 2011, 8:06

    Finally! Now it will be interesting again.

  3. Petrov must be happy. If Kubica comes back he’ll be out the window, presumably, because they signed Kimi for two years.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 29th November 2011, 8:09

      That means Grosjean will not get his seat neither… poor guy.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th November 2011, 8:22

        @gwenouille Yep. Pretty disappointed about that. There is nothing else Grosjean can do to ensure a seat next year. He dominated GP2, what else can you ask for?

        • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 29th November 2011, 10:36

          Grosjean could be another Pantano. Win GP2, miss out on an F1 seat and then never get a real chance again.
          Would be a shame.

          • isn’t this the same grosjean who HAD a chance , didn’t shine , got dropped ?

            if he can’t get a seat here with the team principal as his manager it looks like goodbye especially as he isn’t actually french …renault would be happier to see a real french driver to put their influence behind , and there now looks to be some talent coming through

          • @colin grayson : I don’t see how you can say that he is not French… He has dual nationality (Swiss and French) and is running under French racing licence… He is as much French as Vergne and Bianchi.

          • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 29th November 2011, 19:31

            @lebesset This is the Grosjean who had his chance, didnt shine and was dropped.
            Then went to GT racing and was very good, then won the GP2 title.
            Thus earning himself a second chance.

            We’ve seen plenty of times that some drivers are thrown into F1 too soon, given too little time to adjust and then dropped just as quickly as they were picked up.

            In Grosjean’s case (as with Pantano) this latest setback could be the end of his hopes as an F1 driver because he can’t go back to GP2 and will likely drop off the radar of the F1 teams.
            That seems like a waste of talent, just as it was with Pantano.

      • KNF (@knf) said on 29th November 2011, 8:25

        Neither will Bruno Senna, who proved that he wasn’t rubbish, even if his racecraft was spotty at times…

        • Estesark (@estesark) said on 29th November 2011, 12:51

          Two good qualifying performances and one points finish in eight races doesn’t really prove or disprove anything, if you ask me. I feel more sorry for Grosjean than Senna. The latter will probably pop up in the sport at some point thanks to the backing his name inevitably attracts, but I can’t see where the former is going to take his career now. Perhaps he’ll become a test/reserve driver for a season to start off with.

          I never thought Kimi would come back with Renault, but I’m pleased to see another Finn and another world champion on the grid for next year.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2011, 12:56

        Bet he never saw this threat coming. Senna or Kubica maybe. Feel a little sorry for him and Bruno.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 29th November 2011, 9:07

      With this news I expect Kubica at Ferrari in 2013. Can Renault even afford to pay Kimi and Kubica? Question is does alonso want kubica at Ferrari, I know they are best mates but he won’t be pulling over to let him through.

      • I still don’t think Kubica will need to find a place, because I don’t believe he’ll ever return.

      • steco (@steco) said on 29th November 2011, 10:06

        Kubica was nearly signed twice by Ferrari, but he refused them on fisrt occasion (for injured Massa) and then for Massa again due to his poor performance, unfortunately Kubica has had an accident so all plans collapsed. So now all puzzles start to make sense, as Renault said they won’t help Kubica to recover as he don’t have a contract, and truly, I dont think that he want to bound with them for long term contract as Boullier wants, so they sign up Kimi, and Ferrari (as rumours were saying) will help Kubica to come back letting him to test on their 2 track and simulator and substitute Massa in 2013 or sooner, but that depends on both Massa’s performance and recovery and pace in 2010 car.
        For me there is no doubt that Kubica will be back even stronger than before, I saw him after Canada’07 in GP3 in 2004 i think driving one hand and claiming victory…

        • Investing in Kubica would prove similarly risky as investing in Massa after his accident. Takes time to recover both physically and mentally..

          • John H (@john-h) said on 29th November 2011, 13:10

            I’m not so sure, Massa’s was a brain injury and Kubica’s is more like a serious version of Schumacher’s neck injury.

            If the nerves and the tendons have recovered sufficiently I’m sure he’ll be quick. He wasn’t affected mentally by the Canada 07 crash at all I seem to remember.

          • Kubica apparently does not remember the accident, maybe that will reduce the mental limitations.

        • Which is great, but do you really think Alonso will want Kubica in his team?

          That’s the flaw I see in it. And Alonso has quite a bit of influence at Ferrari.

          • Mealy Mouth said on 29th November 2011, 14:02

            Alonso wants a broomstick in the second car. That way he can celebrate a guaranteed first place in the ‘Fernando Alonso Ego-Boosting Championship, Sponsored by Ferrari’.

          • I was thinking more along the lines of, not someone who could beat him potentially, like Hamilton could have…

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 29th November 2011, 13:45

        Kubica is likely to be gone for good. For a person to take 1 year to recover is some serious long term injury with potential long term side-effects. Severity of his injuries were played down significantly and we still do not fully understand them. He may be back in the future if he finds good sponsors, but i think teams would be afraid and probably silly to hire him anytime soon. He’s got a long way to go for recovery. At the moment he looks like a walking stick from the images -no muscles, lost a lot of weight (not that he had much to begin with but still it is noticeable) no doubt from rehabilitation and medications and doing nothing … best of luck to him though

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 29th November 2011, 14:26

        Kubica is out of contract with Renault as of Jan 2012 and doesn’t want to go back. He will likely spend 2012 testing Ferrari Machinery for rehab purposes and return to competition with the Scuderia in 2013 if his hands are up to it.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th November 2011, 10:04

      @dc – Renault need Petrov. When Raikkonen was talking to Williams, he was said to be asking for $12 million. Petrov is believed to bring $15 million to the team. He’s basically paynig Raikkonen’s salary.

    • I’m not so sure, I think this is a sign that Kubica isn’t coming back.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th November 2011, 17:09

        Lot’s of interesting points made in this little bunch.

        It’s a shame Kubica will likely not return to Renault/Lotus. A Kimi-Kubica lineup would be electric.

        It is right to wonder whether he will recover from injury or struggle like Massa has. It’s a shame because both Pre Accident Massa and Pre Accident Kubica could beat Alonso on their day. Here is to hoping that both can recover that form, so that no matter who the Scuderia signs they can push Alonso and sometimes put him in his place (something I think he needs as a driver more than he’d like to admit).

  4. fifyfoefum (@fifyfoefum) said on 29th November 2011, 8:07

    Must be annoying for those drivers who have been queuing to get a seat at Renault but none the less, well chuffed he’s back!

  5. Insert_Name said on 29th November 2011, 8:08

    Stock up the ice cream fridges!

  6. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 29th November 2011, 8:09

    In many ways kimi’s return was an open secret. Am pleased he’s back although I’d have preferred it to be with Williams (who I’m now very worried about).

    What was strange about this announcement was the timing. Why on earth announce at such an odd time!

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 29th November 2011, 8:09

    a bit of shock. I’m surprised by the fact that F1 still can surprise me. Anyway it’s interesting choice. Bad for Grojean or Senna though.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 29th November 2011, 8:13

      so now Sutil for Williams?

      • sid_prasher (@) said on 29th November 2011, 10:50

        I hope so – it will be unfortunate if a top 10 finisher has to drop out…

      • One more chance for Rubinho – but I think Sutil’s gonna get there.

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th November 2011, 17:15

          It’s a shame Williams won’t sign both Rubens and Sutil. They are keeping Maldonado for sponsorship money, but if they’d just show him the door and redesign that awful gearbox solution, they’d make a lot more money by you know, actually scoring points next season.

          • trebor27 (@trebor27) said on 29th November 2011, 18:40

            Rubens has said he will drive for little money but if he was that desperate couldnt he just say he would drive for free?

          • Jack Flash (Aust) said on 30th November 2011, 1:35

            Why is Maldonado to stay for 2012 a done deal? What is happening back in Venezuala and the outrage rising over PVDSA sponsorship to Maldondo (taken from Govt PVDSA coffers)?

            I thought the Pastor Maldonado ride with Williams might end (2012 valid contract or otherwise), when a possible cessation of funding from PVDSA cuts in. A force majure situation event for Maldonado’s contract I’d suspect.

            Rubens has more secure sponsorship money sources from Brazil it would seem. So Rubens may have a glimmer of hope for 2012 after all. I hope so. JF

    • Mordred said on 29th November 2011, 8:27

      For Petrov as well. If Boullier wants Romain than even Vitaly’s contract won’t stop him. But maybe Eric is also a man to change. Just my feeling…

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 29th November 2011, 8:33

        Well, Petrov has money and even if it’s not top notch his skill is reasonably good so it’s safe bet rather than Grojean. I won’t say Grojean would be bad but Petrov has more merits.

        • mhop (@mhop) said on 29th November 2011, 9:00

          I get the impression that they’ll drop Petrov, and bring in Grosjean. I may be wrong but I think the team (quite rightly) have not been at all impressed with any of their drivers this year.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 29th November 2011, 9:11

          Petrov is really overrated. He started this season pretty well, but since then he’s be very very average, even if he pays for his seat.

          Do Renault need the money now that Kimi is coming and all the sponsorship that brings?

          • John H (@john-h) said on 29th November 2011, 9:13

            Plus that slagging off the team episode can’t have impressed anyone at Enstone

          • mhop (@mhop) said on 29th November 2011, 9:40

            It’s just a hunch of course, but I think Petrov is out.

            Boullier has been quite critical of him in the press recently: very similar to the situation before Heidfeld was dropped. Also, in Brazil Grosjean was quite clearly being lined up for a 2012 drive.

            Personally speaking, I think Lotus should drop Petrov. His appointment has been something of a low point for the team. He has only had his seat because of money and he’s nowhere near good enough for a potential front running team. The pay driver approach may be good enough for the backmarker teams but it’s just wrong for the likes of Renault/Lotus.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 29th November 2011, 10:02

            @john-h think that it was really mainly the car, ie. the team, that dropped the ball heavily after the start of the season.

            I do agree that this team has a history of blaming the (pay/second) driver for mistakes in the team, so he might be out, but I don’t think he did so very bad.

            Grosjean might have been able to do better, just as Heidfeld might have been able to eke out a few anonymous points more, but see how Senna fared.

            Maybe it is lack of talent, or maybe it’s just the team being as bad or worse than in 2008, but without the drive and supreme talent if Alonso (or Kubica). I think the latter more likely.

          • Skett (@skett) said on 29th November 2011, 10:35

            @John-h Overrated or not, maybe Williams could now make a grab for Petrov to replace Maldonado?

            He’s not exactly the most popular driver on the grid!

          • @john-h Given that Raikkonen is historically one of the most expensive drivers in F1, and that he’s infamously loathe to do PR work for the teams he drove for, I’d agree with other commenters who say they now need Petrov’s sponsorship more than ever (esp. after the Snoras embezzlement scandal)

          • John H (@john-h) said on 29th November 2011, 13:08

            @michel-s Yep, you can look at it either way – depends what Kimi has signed for I guess although I presume your right in actual fact.

            I don’t know how Senna compares, but I’m guessing he probably brings quite a bit. Remember Petrov was signed before Kubica’s injury (andnow possible exit) so perhaps the Senna money is now enough?

            Interesting to speculate.

          • @skett

            Hmm, a Sutil and Petrov combinations at Williams seems like a good idea.

          • TheBrav3 said on 29th November 2011, 23:33

            @mhop He got a podium this year which is more than massa managed in a ferrari. He probably is out but he hasn’t been that bad.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 29th November 2011, 10:57

        @Mordred I think it’spossible both Boullier and Petrov will go. I don’t know if it’s unusual or not, but there’s no mention of either in the press release.

        As to Boullier, Dave Ryan was looking over his shoulder in Brasil. And it’s never a good sign when people come to watch your work as you do it.

        Regarding petrov, there are some rumblings surrounding the Snoras bank, I don’t know what’s his relation to the bank and the people involved (does he have a relationship with them or is it purely a Renault finance vehicle?)…

        I won’t be surprised if we’re into more surprises!

  8. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 29th November 2011, 8:13

    Fantastic news, hopefully New Lotus can produce a good car again and keep up the development to give Kimi a chance for a podium or two. Would be great to see a podium made up of Alonso, Shumi and Kimi some time in 2012 to bring back a bit of mid noughties nostalgia (but with a bit of car shuffling in-between!)

    Can’t see any of them troubling the latest world champion though.

  9. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 29th November 2011, 8:13

    All in all, 2012 is all spiced up.
    Just imagine a hypothetical (to some extent) scenario:
    6 WDC + Pirellis + KERS + Exciting Rookies – DRS

    What more could we have asked for!

  10. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 29th November 2011, 8:14

    wow. just wow. My jaw’s still on the ground. Now to see whether he struggles or gets back to business easily.

  11. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 29th November 2011, 8:19

    like i just said before the only top driver available oon the grid it’s KIMI!!!!!!
    welcome back KIMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KNF (@knf) said on 29th November 2011, 8:35

      Which Kimi? The guy who fought JPM and Michael Schumacher to the end in 2003, often won races from the midfield in 2005 (e.g. Japanese GP), won 6 races and won the 2007 title by a point over Alonso and Hamilton, or the guy who buggered off to his yacht in Monaco 2006, retired the car for some Magnums and Coke in 2009 and kept crashing in his WRC for two years straight?

      Hopefully he makes the most of his second tour in F1 and we get to see more of the “Flying Finn” rather than the “Frat Boy Finn”

      • well maybe you should sit in a water filled car with KERS insulation problem and show us how he’d supposed to be racing with that…and in Monaco, you’d probably keep driving even tough your car is on fire. Really how stupid of Kimi to stop for those kind of things, right?

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th November 2011, 9:25

          You’ve named yourself well to respond to @knf ‘s post. Kimi was doing a great job in Monaco 2006, running 2nd and passing Webber on track (yes, on track), before his car failed.

          • KNF (@knf) said on 29th November 2011, 9:54

            Being a Raikkonen supporter can be very frustrating, especially if his machinery falls apart (how on earth did his suspension come undone during qualy in Bahrain 2006?), or he trips over a backmarker (like Liuzzi in Hungary 2006)…

  12. Steve (@steve) said on 29th November 2011, 8:20

    Kim and Robert, this is going to be awesome.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th November 2011, 8:22

      Raikkonen and Petrov, more like:

      Robert Kubica to miss start of 2012 season

    • If it it’s going to happen… Yes. Kubica & Raikkonenn in 2012 have the perspective to be the most astonishing as well as the most disappointing pair. Both of them achieved outstanding results and in both cases their form for next season is a big questionmark. In Kubica’s case, he might not be fit enough, Kimi on the other hand might not be motivated enough for F1.

    • lionel said on 29th November 2011, 8:34

      IMO KUB is more likely to start with Ferrari than Lotus

      • mhop (@mhop) said on 29th November 2011, 9:06

        IMO KUB will never race in F1 (or any other series) again.

        • lionel said on 29th November 2011, 9:33

          no. the news is not kimi’s back. the news is kubica is going to ferrari. and thats why kimi is back and eric says that he will not give kub a car for testing if he is going to other team.

        • dkptrow said on 29th November 2011, 10:46

          you keep giving that oppion, but do you understand the up to date facts on kubica. kubicas bones are practically all healed now, he is driving a road car in poland. his hand still doesnt have the feeling required, but he moves all his fingers and is getting there, just slowly. he will recover, all his doctors have said that, not just his manager who would obviously say it to get him a contract. Autosport were the last ones stating Ferrari will test him in 2012 with an eye for the race seat in 2013, there was an article in their paid subcsription online magazine just recently. ferrari are taking that opportunity with kubica coming out of contract for renault. ofcourse everydriver would pick a ferrari race drive in 2013 over a second-half of the season drive with renault next year.

          • TheBrav3 said on 29th November 2011, 23:42

            Couldn’t have said it better this is exactly what i believe is happening in all respects.

        • What a fantastically positive outlook you have there!

          • Apologies for coming across so negatively.

            I guess what I meant to say is that it seems the vast majority of fans are taking Kubica’s return to F1 for granted, which seems irrational given the severity and nature of his injuries. Sorry to be blunt, but the fans have been conned by Kubica’s management team by them saying that he could have been back before the end of 2011, and reading between the lines it seems to me that it will be impossible for him to return any time in 2012. It’s very sad, I’d love to see Kubica back one day, but no one should take it for granted given his injuries.

  13. Poor Grosjean, he really deserves another shot at F1. Certainly more deserving of the other Renault seat than Petrov…

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 29th November 2011, 13:39

      Petrov’s best result: 3rd. Grosjean’s: 13th. Grosjean never showed he had the speed, determination or strength for F1 racing. Petrov’s far from perfect but I’d put more faith in him than in stick-thin Romain to drag his car as high up the grid as possible.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2011, 15:13

        He was partnering Alonso at a time when Renault were actually ‘the Fernando Alonso (+1) team’ and the car was generally more of a dog than it was at the beginning of this season. Also, Petrov had a full season before getting that podium.

        • TheBrav3 said on 29th November 2011, 23:48

          Do you really think fernando needed the team to mess with grosjean’s car to beat him? If you do i can only assume you are here representing the spanish inquisition’s formula one interests, no one can hate a spaniard that much.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th November 2011, 19:26

            I never said that his car was messed with. I’m not a crazy conspiracy-nut, no matter how much you want me to be one.

          • TheBrav3 said on 30th November 2011, 23:00

            I specifically used the spanish inquisition to avoid you thinking i was calling you a conspiracy nut. Just some one who hates fernando, nothing wrong with that i hate maldonado.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st December 2011, 15:52

            There doesn’t seem any point arguing as you clearly misread what I wrote or are just looking to have an argument. I said the team was Alonso-focused, to the detriment of his team mate, not that they sabotaged the other car or that Alonso was in any way ‘bad’. I don’t waste my time hating on Alonso, or people stating innocent truths. I never implied that Grosjean would have beaten Alonso in a more equal team, just that he was disadvantaged and that probably exaggerated how bad he really was.

      • Kris H. said on 29th November 2011, 17:30

        That’s based on only what you see in the results column. I’d disagree 100%. Petrov is good for Russian publicity and sponsorship – and is okay in the rain. Beyond that…..Grosjean would blow him away in equal equipment. It already happened in GP2.

        • Hairs (@hairs) said on 30th November 2011, 12:35

          Grosjean also blew away Kobayashi in GP2. Ask around the paddock who the teams would rather hire.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th November 2011, 19:30

            If it’s Kobayashi it’s probably mainly because of experience, not skill necessarily.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st December 2011, 18:15

            @matt90 let’s see… in his first couple of races, Kobayashi was dicing with the world champion and overtaking guys in faster cars.

            In his half a year in F1 Grosjean went backwards in the races, couldn’t keep to the track, and showed absolutely no indication of the sort of mental or physical strength you need to be in F1. So… No, I’m sorry. Kobayashi would get hired because he’s faster, more reliable, a better driver, and more interesting to sponsors and the media.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st December 2011, 19:28

            As I’ve said in several other places, I think there were several things working against Grosjean. Although there’s no doubt he dissapointed, he has shown in the last year to be talented enough to deserve another go, so I doubt teams would look exclusively at those few races 2 years ago.

        • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 1st December 2011, 2:20

          Grosjean didn’t blow Petrov away in 2009 before he replaced Piqet jr. Grosjean had 3 good races to start the season, 2 wins and a 2nd. but after that he was just average. Hulkenberg, Petrov AND Lucas Di Grassi blew him away!

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 29th November 2011, 13:54

      Grosjean is only good for french publicity

  14. Goran (@goran507) said on 29th November 2011, 8:23

    I wonder what will happen to Senna and Grosjean now…will LRGP drop Petrov for Senna/Grosjean ? Partnering a young inexperience driver with Kimi will be good.

    • natkid (@natkid) said on 29th November 2011, 8:53

      if some brazillian journos are right, it will be Bruno Senna as teammate for Kimi.. Bruno has potentials, bring sponsors, LRGP members love him and most importantly, he is Group Lotus’ poster boy

      • lionel said on 29th November 2011, 9:35

        well some may love him, but his perofrmance is just poor…
        better to se romain than petrov and bruno.

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th November 2011, 17:26

          I can see a scenario where Grosjean gets the drive from the start of the season, learns from Kimi, builds up some experience and then gives up the seat for Kubica to return and becomes the teams chief reserve and test driver. In the hopes that he is promoted to one of the race seats again when either Kimi or Kubica leave in a few seasons.

          That’s not likely to happen, but if I were Boullier that’s exactly what I’d do. Most people didn’t think they’d sign Kimi, I hoped they would and I was right, I hope I can be right on this one too!

  15. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 29th November 2011, 8:24

    i can’t wait for Spa 2012

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