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

  1. sato113 (@sato113) said on 29th November 2011, 15:27

    the ICEMAN cometh! yeyyyy

  2. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 29th November 2011, 15:32

    In hindsight, I can’t say this was too much of a shocker, though if you’d have told me this a few months ago I’d feel like it came out of left field. Because let’s be honest: Renault was starting to look like it would become a revolving door of less than ideal drivers this season. I like Bruno, but he didn’t set the world afire. Nick was ho-hum as always. Romain had had an opportunity in ’09 and didn’t create fireworks on the track either. Though his time to gain more experience was probably positive, he was still a big question mark. And then of course, Petrov’s got the money for them, but never consistency or flair on track.

    So with all that, what do you do? Well, hire a world champion, of course. Since Kubica’s been gone, the team has needed a leader badly. And even though I don’t like Mr. Mumbles, he’s got the experience needed to firmly place himself as the lead driver. This is a logical choice for them in a market where all the top talent has been snatched up, but mediocrity abounds.

    All I know is I’m glad he didn’t go to Williams. I like Williams and I don’t want to have to cheer for Kimi, whatever good he could have done there.

  3. Kimi isn’t that old,but his attitude|!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last race Schumi drove for Ferrari,they asked Kimi where he was during the presentation.He said the famous words “I was have a ****”

    Let us hope the Renualt Kimi inherits is better than Merc GP’s offering to the legend.
    Schumi will drive for one year with Ferrari in “2014”,his last F1 driving year..

  4. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 29th November 2011, 16:16

    This will be great if Kimi and Renault can give 100% and certainly will spice up the interest in at least the first few races . Its a pity that the other Seb.(Ogier) that may be free next year couldn’t transfer his skills to F1 that would really give the french something to cheer about.

  5. The key statement here I think is:


    first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future

    which means the enstone outfit clearly has many more plans to improve the car and the infrastructure around it than just adding Kimi. Now I doubt they will go to the length that MercGP has, but I want to know what he means by that. Namely, who he is bringing in besides Kimi to lift the design and development of the R32 or whatever it’ll be called to a new level.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th November 2011, 21:28

      Good catch. With Team Lotus/Caterham poaching top minds in the field, I imagine LRGP is keen to do the same!

      I don’t know if 2012 will be as good as 2011 has been, but the run up to the season is going to be fascinating. There are a lot of major players making some big claims.

      And I don’t just mean the usual, “we will work harder, be more competitive”, blah blah blah stuff…..

      • All I can say is that MercGP is going to be my constructor for my F1FRL.com and FantasyF1league.net teams, coming in cheap at 4th in the championship but will probably fight for many more podiums next year.

  6. zippyone (@zippyone) said on 29th November 2011, 16:44

    All I can say is YEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAA!

    Best news ever (I’m a major Kimi fan in case you can’t guess) Now we just need Renault (Lotus) to be really competitive next year.

  7. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 29th November 2011, 16:50

    Now we need Renault(or Lotus) to develop a car competitive enough to Challenge the big guns(McLaren,Red Bull & Ferrari) at least occassionally so that he can be REGULARLY mixing it with them due to the good starts he would be potentially making during the race.

    Not the biggest of Kimi fans,although i am a fan of his natural talent & personality & its great to see him back.I love change for the good reasons

  8. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER said on 29th November 2011, 17:01

    AMAZING news! Welcome back Iceman!

    Formula 1 needs drivers with personality like Schumacher, Raikkonen, Vettel, Webber! All of them are so different and Kimi is cool with his laid back attitude!

  9. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER said on 29th November 2011, 17:01

    And of course, BUTTON too!

  10. tflb1 (@) said on 29th November 2011, 17:29

    My first prediction for next season: Raikkonen and Lotus in general will be a massive flop and he will leave before the season has ended. He’s going to struggle massively after two years out, and I never particularly rated him anyway. A waste of a seat in my opinion.

  11. Where is the person that called another fanatic a troll for announcing this on Sunday’s live text during the race?
    Cofty said this on Friday, well, well, its true, must listen to more of his one liners.

    Lets hope they build a better car or he’ll be fighting just to get into the points. Although I think they will make a much better for 2012

  12. Haha kimi, absolutely delighted to see him back, 6WDC in 2012.

  13. sozavele (@formula-1) said on 29th November 2011, 18:07

    Reference: ESPN-F1

    Renault have until 10th December to decide if Petrov will remain at the team next season, having publically critisized the team they have all the reasons to sack him, with Raikonnen confirmed and pressure from Senna and Grosjean with a possible return for Kubica next season, Petrov’s future looks bleak.

  14. I Love The Pope said on 29th November 2011, 18:15

    Raikkonen has got no shot to win next year in a Meh-nault.

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