Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Raikkonen plans to start testing in January

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011
Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen says he intends to drive an F1 car next month before official testing for the 2012 season begins.

Raikkonen told
Renault’s website he expects to drive an older car, most likely a 2010-spec R30.

He said: “We don?t test the new car until February so it?s a long wait. However, I should be able to jump into a two-year-old F1 car in January.

“Of course, there will be the usual training, but I will also be working on getting to know the team better and making sure I fully understand all the changes since I have been away.”

Asked if he thought he would take a while to become competitive again following his two years out of the sport he said: “I hope not!

“I am more motivated than ever and I don?t think I?ve lost any speed. Getting on top of the tyres will be the hardest thing, of course, but I?m not really worried.

“Although the technical regulations don?t seem to change much, they apply to a lot of areas and quite a few elements will have to be re-designed. As a result, the cars will be significantly different next year. The order could be shaken up, which will make things very interesting.”

Raikkonen added he has made two visits to the factory of his new team, which will become Lotus in 2012: “The first one, at the team?s Christmas party, made me realise how much support I have there.

“The second one, last week, allowed me to understand that this team has not been world champion by coincidence. I also saw all the investments they have made recently: new simulator building, CFD upgrade, 60% wind tunnel… It gives me a lot of confidence for the season ahead.”

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Image ?? Renault/LAT