Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen to return to F1 with Renault in 2012

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. 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.

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

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

      1. i have a silly question but can I ask when will you start referring this team as Lotus?

        1. from the start of winter testing, I guess?

        2. @natkid This is what Tony Fernandes says:

          Our stewardship of Team Lotus will come to an end in mid-December.

          I guess the rebranding will take place then, too. Until then, I think it’s correct to call the team ‘Renault’.

          1. yeah, Fernandes will rename the team in a couple of weeks officially. I expect Renault to announce it sometime december or early januari as well.

            Until then its still the Renault team.

        3. Next year.

        4. listen to Kimi I thnk you’ll find out

    2. 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.

    3. 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”.

      1. 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.

        1. Ferrari won WCC in 2008.

        2. 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.

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

          2. @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.

          3. @matt90 Today, manufacturer.

          4. 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.

          5. 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

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. David Stringer
            30th November 2011, 10:21

            Where’s the source for this one then?

    4. 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.

      1. 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 …

      2. 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.

      3. That interview is out on video as well –

      4. 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.

        1. 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?

    5. 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.

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

    7. 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.

      1. I meant Schumacher and Rosberg wouldn’t leave Mercedes.

  2. Finally! Now it will be interesting again.

    1. Yeah, really good news, hope this combination will be very successful.

    2. Now that is good news after sad and somewhat boring Interlagos race. May I borrow the famous cheer: “yes yes yes” :)
      Thank you Kimi, thank you Renault etc….

    3. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the homepage! Somehow I thought all these rumours would become nothing.
      Now I think Grosjean would be perfect to partner him: Senna has been mediocre, as has been Petrov with more experience.

    4. by far and away, the best piece of news of the year! :D

      1. Very happy to see kimi back. Hopefully car will not be that bad such that he keeps on struggling for Q3. Looking forward to see kimi raw speed at display.

      2. by far and away, the bst piece of news of the year!

        Agreed completely! I literally cheered when I saw the headline :) My dog looked at me like I was a crazy person!!!

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

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

      1. @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?

        1. 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.

          1. 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

          2. @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.

          3. @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.

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

        1. 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.

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

    2. 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.

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

      2. 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…

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

          1. 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.

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

        2. 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.

          1. 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’.

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

      3. 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

      4. 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.

    3. @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.

      1. lol, I find it very interesting to read all your comments.

      2. @Prisoner Monkeys

        Any news on what Renault are paiying him?

        I’m thinking it’s significantly less that a typical Kimi fee of yesteryear.

        1. I’m guessing he got what he asked for because the sponsor that would be paying him and williams is still paying him and renault, they just get (probably) a better car for their man.

      3. $12 million is a lot in this economy for a team like Renault / Lotus. I wonder if Räikkönen actually got anything close to that.

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

      1. 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).

        1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
          1st December 2011, 17:07

          You mean like Hamilton’s been put in his by Button this year? :P

  4. 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!

    1. As I said before, management of this team, whatever it’s name, never has seemed to be very geared to keeping drivers happy.

      Unless they were the ‘chosen one’ that is – Schumacher, Alonso, Kubica, and now perhaps Kimi; but the 2nd driver is almost as secure as in a HRT, just with hope of a much better car, and a in a team that expects more and has more experience, and thus might allow a driver to show more.

  5. Stock up the ice cream fridges!

    1. Won’t it melt in a fridge?

    2. Or if Kimi takes a **** just before every race the Lotus will be nice and light…

  6. 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!

    1. As soon as it was a done deal so that neither party feels the desire to renegotiate it, and Kubica’s manager can agree to disagree?

  7. 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.

    1. so now Sutil for Williams?

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        29th November 2011, 10:50

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

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

        1. 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.

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

          2. Jack Flash (Aust)
            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

    2. 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…

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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?

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

          2. 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.

          3. @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.

          4. @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!

          5. @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)

          6. @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.

          7. @skett

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

          8. @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.

      2. @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!

        1. Could Renault somehow manage to get Grosjean to take Trulli’s seat? Then, STR would have to drop Buemi, and therefore, F1 loses two mediocre drivers: Buemi and Trulli.

          1. For sure, more changes coming up. Boullier does not know how to stop shuffling people around.

          2. Apart from Buemi is not mediocre

          3. Do you mean in a similar way to Red Bull asking HRT to run Daniel Ricciardo?

          4. I think Buemi is, at least, OK.

          5. Supposedly Ricciardo to replace Trulli at Caterham is already a done deal, just needs to be inked. I guess this would be in exchange for RB gearbox and KERS.

  8. 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.

    1. Haha good point,

      Who’d have put money in 2005 of seeing a race (let alone a podium) with Alonso in a Ferrari, Raikkonen in a Renault and Schumacher in a Mercedes.

      1. Wow…. Too true.

      2. Renault and Ferrari were good then, so I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that those 2 would find themselves there. But Schumacher in a Mercedes… And Button in a McLaren too, although I wouldn’t have been surprised I definitely wouldn’t have put money on it.

      3. You win :) Valencia 2012.

  9. 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!

    1. 6 WDC + Pirellis + KERS + Exciting Rookies – DRS

      – DRS is my favorite word :P

      1. Sadly, I don’t think the FIA will be getting rid of DRS in 2012 (if that’s what you mean).

    2. A sky minidish?

    3. 6 WDC is just as exciting as 5 WDC with one of them driving a car 0,5 seconds faster than the rest…

      1. like this ;-))

      2. My thoughts exactly!

      3. Than its a shame, that either its 5 or 4 or 3, remaining are so incompetent against that ONE ;)

        1. yeah you know chuck norris wrote the fia rule book for the sole purpose of stopping schumacher.

    4. 6 WDC + Pirellis + KERS + Exciting Rookies – DRS

      What more could we have asked for!

      Exciting rookies? Like… er… De La Rosa? Grosjean? Charles “Who?” Pic?

      1. To be fair Grosjean never had a chance to prove himself and it will be his first full season.

    5. @vickyy who are these Exciting Rookies you talk about?

      1. @hairs @mustalainen my bad, poor choice of words, I actually meant more refined DiResta, Perez, even Hulk and none of them are literally rookie

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

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

    1. 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”

      1. 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?

        1. 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.

          1. 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. Kim and Robert, this is going to be awesome.

      1. So Bruno Senna doesn’t stand a chance? I though OGX paid enough money!

        1. Best chances for Bruno is Williams.

          1. Senna + Williams = ouch

    1. 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.

    2. IMO KUB is more likely to start with Ferrari than Lotus

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

        1. 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.

          1. Haha. Believe it when I see it.

        2. 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.

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

        3. What a fantastically positive outlook you have there!

          1. 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…

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. @TheBrav3
            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.

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

      2. 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.

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

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

          2. @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.

          3. 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.

        2. 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!

    2. Grosjean is only good for french publicity

      1. And winning GP2, Auto GP and F3 Euroseries.

          1. Solid input, nice discussion.

        1. @matt90

          yes, and that.

  14. 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.

    1. 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

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

        1. 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. i can’t wait for Spa 2012

    1. Oh yeaahhh! Kimi in Spa. Ah, music!

      1. Why Spa? Kimi vs. Lewis in Spa on a rainy Sunday? Massa should be happy too :)

    2. @tifoso1989 – I doubt he’ll last that long. I predict Renault will be looking for a new driver some time around the Canadian or European Grand Prix. When Raikkonen realises the car isn’t a title contender, he’ll grow bored and an embarrassed Renault will fire him.

      1. I don’t agree, He’s obviously tried hard to come back into F1. And I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.

        I’m far from a Kimi fan, but I’m absolutely delighted he’s back.

      2. When Raikkonen realises the car isn’t a title contender, he’ll grow bored and an embarrassed Renault will fire him.

        That would explain the win and 4 other podiums in 09. His form seems to swing with mood, but I think just how much is exaggerated.

      3. @prisonermonkeys,bitter much?

        1. No, I’m not bitter. I just think Raikkonen was the wrong decision for all involved.

      4. In that situation, I’d be surprised if other teams don’t start clambering over him.

        1. Why would they? I suspect Raikkonen will walk away from Lotus when he realises the car isn’t as competitive as he would like it to be. Why on earth would the other teams fall over one another to sign him up simply because he gave up as soon as things got difficult?

          1. I’d say publicity. Some have, I suspect, signed up faded talents just for the limelight. Having a champion in your team increases the likelihood, more or less, of getting more sponsors (especially those new to Formula 1).

  16. Great to see another class world champion on the grid. The Iceman is back.

  17. I’m happy. Kimi, despite non-F1 people thinking he’s dull, I find him hilarious. Glad to have a non-corporate driver back in the pit lane to tell us how things really are.
    He’s also great to watch on track. (I guess that point should come first) :D

  18. Good news. Little disappointed that I won’t get to see him compete in the WRC anymore and feeling for Grosjean right about now.

    That said, it will be great to have him back. I hope we get flicks of the old Kimi but a more a more sensible, sincere approach to his drive. I’m sure we will.

  19. now the silly season fully deserves it’s name … it may have been an open secret, but I was hoping that Renault (or Lotus … ok, let’s call them Lopez’ team) will give the chance to Grosjean … Romain is the actual looser of this game … hopefully he’ll get a chance at Williams (Sutil should stay in FI imo, but F1 isn’t always rational) …

  20. I must admit mixed feelings about this one. Obviously it’s good to see Raikkonen back but I’m disappointed for Senna and Grosjean. This is all assuming nothing’s going to prise Petrov out of the other seat, of course.

    1. Agree. I was really looking forward to seeing Grosjean vs. Petrov at Lotus (better get used to it now). Great to have Kimi back, though.

      1. I still think there is a chance Grosjean will get the nod over Petrov. Boullier likes him a lot, he has more than proven himself by dominating GP2 this year and he’d be perfect to slot into the 2nd seat alongside Kimi. Either to keep it warm till Kubica could return or to have it all to himself.

    2. @keithcollantine I’m disappointed for Sutil and Barrichello as I think this decision decreases their chances of getting race seats for 2012. I believe these two guys really deserve to be in F1, they have proved their value lately.

      1. I’d say it deffinitely increases rubens chances because the pool of talent and sponsor money just got smaller.

    3. Yeah the same. It is great to see 6 champions on the grid and F1 should be about the best drivers in the world, competing in the best cars on the best tracks (maybe the last one is a bit dubious).

      You can’t help but feel sorry for Grosjean as he has impressed on two occassions now and just aced GP2 this year and still can’t get a drive. Maybe he will, we just don’t know. I also think Senna deserves a drive but there are only 24 spots on the grid, someone’s got to go home unhappy.

      1. And in the meantime, granPa De La Rosa snatches a seat from nowhere… puzzling…

        1. yeah thats a joke. and no offence is intended towards pedro, fair play id accept a drive if it was offered but there are better options out there.

          1. I dunno, he’s probably exactly what HRT need

    4. Yes, that’s my feeling too. Looking forward to seeing Kimi back in F1, but this silly season makes me feel more and more sorry for some talented guys who just won’t get a chance for next year if ever, it seems.

    5. Senna and Grosjean

      i am not really disappointed with neither of the two.

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