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. There are clearly too many suitably qualified/talented drivers for the number of cars available in F1 at the moment. I don’t think many people outside of Ferrari want to see teams running three cars, so that begs the question: where is the 13th team? There isn’t going to be one in 2012, is there? By 2013, I expect quite a few spaces to open up through retirements (Schumacher, Barrichello, Trulli, de la Rosa), so the need won’t be so great, but for next year it would definitely benefit the sport.

    1. I think Lotus moving for Kimi demonstrates the opposite. There are plenty of young drivers itching to get their hands on a seat for 2012, lots of them already attached to teams; Vergne, Ricciardo, Grosjean for example. The fact that Lotus (who have 2 arguably sprea drivers) have gone to a driver who left years ago to fill one of the vacant seats doesn’t demonstrate a lot of belief to me.

      If I was Grosjean or Senna I think I would be very surprised, and not a little bit p****d off.

      Will be interesting to see how Red Bull solve their 4 into 2 problem; I don’t see them going outside of their current young driver programme like Lotus have.

  2. All world champions of the millenium are participating in 2011. When was the last time that happened?

    1. All world champions of the millennium are not participating in 2011. They probably will all be participating in 2012, however. Assuming that’s what you meant:

      All world champions of the millennium have never participated in 2012, because we haven’t got to 2012 yet. They have all participated in F1 seasons before 2012, however. Assuming that’s what you meant:

      That was the case from the moment Giuseppe Farina won the inaugural championship in 1950 to the moment Alberto Ascari was killed in 1955. So the answer is 1951-1955. That was only the other time, because Formula One has only existed in two millennia: this one and the last one!

      1. @estesark – It was 2006, when the 2005 champion and the 2000-2004 champion was on the grid.

        1. @david-a, yes, of course you’re right, how did I overlook that one?

  3. I have been a Kimi fan for years and am happy to see him back. However, I really hope we get a Kimi who is really interested in racing. I couldn’t care less about him appearing in some watch ad or something else. If he drives like he did in races such as Japan 2005 then great.

    For the most part I think this whole motivation issue has been blown out of proportion. For example, in the 2009 Malaysian GP he had a KERS failure which would have meant he could not restart even if the race did. I am not sure about 2008 necessarily but clearly there were issues with the car and him not getting heat into the tires compared to Massa.

  4. I’m sorry but as soon as one of us are in the position where we are running an F1 team, and Kimi Raikkonen wants to negotiate a deal to drive for us, we can’t be as negative as a lot of the comments on here.

    You all moan when pay drivers, or drivers of little experience are hired, but then an underdog signs a WDC and everyone jumps to how Lotus-Renault have made the wrong decision.

    Jesus, don’t moan at Kimi, think of people that really shouldnt be in the sport. He’s a WDC that just happens to have tested himself in other series. Sure, it failed, but full marks for having the guts to step outside such a comfort zone.

    1. This is exactly how I feel about it! Thank you…

    2. Well said. I wouldn’t even say his time in rallying was a complete failure; it just wasn’t as successful as many thought it might be.

  5. Who said things will be boring between Brazil 2010 & Australia 2011.

  6. Wow. The Malaysian NST paper had the headline running in the sports section as ‘Raikkonen returns to F1 with Lotus’.

    I actually thought Lotus as in team Lotus. But then after reading the first couple of sentences, it said “He will be joining the team formerly known as Renault”.


  7. Wow! What a buzz this comeback is creating! For the cool ice man who’s not showing that much emotion, he’s really stirring up some. Hope he’s a bit mad for getting sacked from Ferrari and that Lotus Renault is able to get him a decent car to at least fight with Ferrari. Then I can promise you we’re up for a treat! The Finns might be a bit quiet and not all that well spoken, but the fire will be there!

  8. Awesome, f1 hasn’t been the same since Raikkonen left, cant wait for him to return, will he b able to adapt and fit in better than Schumacher? what will he achieve at Renault? cant wait to find out, anyone else agree?

  9. Wow, 6 WDCs in 2012. All we need now is Mika, Jacques, Damon, Alain to come out of retirement to have 10 WDCs. Heck why not get Nige, Nelson, and Keke out of retirement too…

  10. Shane (@f1champion18)
    1st December 2011, 4:24

    It will be interesting to see how committed Raikkonen is to Renault/Lotus. Obviously, he is a very talented driver, but his committment has often been questioned in the past. I think Reanult will have to produce a competitive car from the start to keep him happy. Another thing that will be interesting will be who his partner will be. I have a feeling we may see Romain Grosjean back in F1 next year. 2012 looks like it will be an interesting season.

  11. Brilliant! I love to watch Kimi drive. Renault/Lotus/whatever, are a great team who can do well in 2012. I suppose that can be said for nearly every team at this point though :p

    Good to see him back though.

  12. What a funny guy. Great to have him back.


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