Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Ferrari officially announce Raikkonen to rejoin team in 2014

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari next season, five years after he was dropped by the team.

Ferrari confirmed the news on Wednesday, the day after Felipe Massa announced his eight-year tenure at at the team was coming to an end.

Raikkonen has signed a two-year deal to drive for the team who he last raced for between 2007 and 2009. A statement from from Ferrari confirmed he will “join Fernando Alonso in the driver line-up for the next two racing seasons”.

“I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” said Raikkonen. “I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the world championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.”

“I can’t wait to be driving a prancing horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.”

Ferrari scored their last championship success with the Raikkonen-Massa partnership in 2008 and Raikkonen is the team’s most recent drivers’ champion. He will partner Fernando Alonso, the driver who replaced him in 2010.

Raikkonen and Alonso were championship rivals in 2005 while racing for McLaren and Renault respectively. They won seven races each that year but Alonso won the title with two rounds to spare.
It brings an end Raikkonen’s association with Lotus, with which he returned to Formula One last year following a two-year absence from the sport in the wake of his departure from Ferrari.
Alonso said: “I’d like to welcome my new travelling companion: together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge.”

“I want to thank Felipe for all the support he has given me and the team during this journey we have made together over all these years,” he added.

“Come the end of the season, it will not be easy to say goodbye to a team-mate like him. He has always been truly professional and loyal to the team and I am sure that right to the end, he will do his utmost for the Scuderia that he loves so much.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali added: “I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his world championship title.”

“I sense he is very happy to be returning to Maranello and very determined to tackle the work that awaits him in the best way possible.”

Domenicali also added his thanks to Massa for his eight years of service as one of the team’s racing drivers: “I wish to thank Felipe with all my heart and also on behalf of all our fans around the world, for the extraordinary job he has done for the team over so many years.”

“Felipe has always behaved like a real team player. Together we have lived through some great times and also a few dramatic moments, which have helped to cement a truly unique relationship on both a professional and personal level.”

“He will always be part of our family and we wish him all the very best for the future. Now we must concentrate all our efforts on the remaining seven races of the season and we know that, as always, we can count on Felipe’s contribution, while we work together to reach our goals. Our determination will not waver one iota right to the very end.”

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206 comments on “Ferrari officially announce Raikkonen to rejoin team in 2014”

        1. Easy to forget Lewis was still a rookie and scored the same points as Alonso, and so nearly won the title in his first attempt. IMO its the 2007 line up that was stronger :P

      1. I’m not that optimistic for next year – imo, 1 team will get it right with the new aero package and the new engine and run away with it. only DNFs will keep the championship interesting. (though I hope I’m wrong)

    1. Why does everyone keep going on about the Hulk? Really I do not see the amazingness of him bar a couple of great quallys. I certainly can not see how anyone could rate him over Kimi, except possibly for long term potential?

      1. If you watched him before he came to F1, you’d understand. Certainly on a par with the likes of Hamilton in terms of performance in the junior formulae. Granted, that doesn’t always translate to brilliance in F1 but from what we’ve seen so far there’s reason to be optimistic.

        1. @red-andy @philereid I hope it does not turn out to be that After Hulk Moves to Lotus , the Lotus Form Slumps significantly next year and the Sauber picks up pace. That was what exactly happened to Hulk on the Move from Force India to Sauber this year.

          It is a possibility that we cannot rule out because of the the new found cash for Sauber from the Russian Group and a better Ferrari engine than renault.

          1. Slumps with Sauber and Lotus on consecutive years could hurt Hulk´s career badly. Its quite risky to move from Sauber to Lotus now. Having second not so great year with Sauber might be less risky.. And if you guys dont like Hulk, you should watch incar of his pole lap. I have been kinda fan since then.. It wasnt luck with weather/tires.. He was pushing the car far beyond of human limits :-)

            Well, Ferrari.. It will be really exacting year. I hope they have good car.

        1. @egon yes, the way he ran into Hamilton who was leading his last race for Mclaren from pole was pretty fantastic. He was given so much room and spun like a rookie. He wasn’t fantastic in Brazil, he was greedy and reckless.

          1. His pace was fantastic. Did you forget it was raining? It might have been his only chance to pass Hamilton en he lost it over a wet patch of track, that doesn’t make him reckless. He wanted to win, and he could still have, if the stewards didn’t give him a penalty for something that could happen to every driver.

          2. @andrewf1
            I don’t think it matters who Hulkenburg crashed into. I buy the opinion that he was given room by Hamilton and it was unfortunate that he slid out and hit him.

            Maybe he shouldn’t have got a drive-through, but he was certainly the one at fault.

            the way he ran into Hamilton who was leading his last race for Mclaren from pole… he was greedy and reckless.

            I find involving emotions in arguments, particularly when they involve laws and regulations, is pretty childish. Hulkenburg drove a good race (As did Hamilton) and made a mistake. He got punished, but he shouldn’t be judged based on who he took out. He’d have got the penalty if he’d had hit the Caterham. It’s a shame, but that doesn’t make him ‘greedy and reckless’

          3. @andrewf1
            Hamilton has previously crashed in amateur fashion. So has Alonso. So has Vettel. So has Schumacher. Even Kimi has been there.
            He showed that he isn’t afraid to fight, not even when the conditions are difficult and he is up against one of the best drivers in the field.
            The great drivers are never the ones, who are able to keep their nose clean.
            That takes a few years to learn. As long as they accept that they made a mistake and learn from it. But if they don’t make mistakes, they can’t learn from them.
            He ended up looking silly with just a few points, but he will have learnt from it and become a better racing driver.
            Vettel was labeled “the crash kid” in 2010. Now look at where he is at.

      2. @zippyone It’s a combination of me wanting to see the young talent and long term potential come through, but also I wanted Hulk to get the seat because that would mean he’s safe for probably a few more years in F1, to prove himself as a championship contender. Don’t get me wrong, I love the prospect of Raikkonen v Alonso, but that would only be a relatively short-term thing, compared to what Hulkenburg would be.

      3. @zippyone

        He did something special in every season so far in 3 different teams. Pole with Williams 2010, fought for the win with Force India 2012, and fantastic race at Monza 2013. Also his last two seasons are much much stronger than overall his teammates and all of this suggests that this boy can deliver. But to see if he really can stand next to the big guys, first we should see him in stronger car. No one from the midfield is performing better i believe. For me this is the best pilot without world title on the grid right now.

    2. @philereid
      I think Hülkenberg is a great driver and I hope he’ll get a top seat, if not this year then the next one. But seriously (and yes, I’m saying this as a Räikkönen supporter) Alonso-Räikkönen is an amazing line up, two world champions with curious personalities in a top team! I’m really looking forward for this.

      1. @hotbottoms I completely agree. It’s not like this is bad for anyone, and I am really looking forward to the battle. The main reason I wanted Hulk there is mainly because his career is on the line. However, he could now get the Lotus drive, and then if he doesn’t, hopefully Sauber retain him, but I don’t see that happening. Not taking the Hulk could possibly be bad for Hulk, and as he’s my close second favourite driver on the grid (close to Ham above him), I’d be absolutely gutted if he was to be dropped from F1.

          1. It isn’t ‘officially’ on the line, but we know Sauber are highly unlikely to retain him because he doesn’t bring money and there are few other avenues open.

            The problem is he’s had few chances to shine given circumstance.

    3. I have to agree. I was hoping until the last moment that Hulkenberg would snatch the Ferrari drive. I thought it made much more sense. But, alas, it was not to be.
      Still quite thrilled at watching Kimi and Fernando in the same car, though!

      Now I’m really hoping Boullier gives young Nico a chance to prove his worth in a competitive team.

    4. Yes, Ferrari should hire Hulk. But signing Kimi for two year is quite smart. 2014 is the “starting season” if he fails, it’s will be OK, but if he fails again in 2015 they will go for Hulk or another promising young driver.

      Now Lotus will have an interesting duo as well. Grosjean is fairly quick, he has race management issues to iron but time will fix that, he’s better than Kimi extracting that one killer lap out the Lotus and he does shine on Sundays too, not as often as Boulier would like but I wouldn’t fire him for Massa.

      1. @jcost Kimi will not fail! What gives you this idea? I think in 2008/9 he was just a bit bored/lazy with F1 as he had achieved his title but with his rally break has come a new fire and he seems determined to get another title. He could just do that next year or 2015.

          1. @pandaslap couldn’t tell you I’m afraid but I imagine that it won’t be solely his decision anyway. He’s been nowhere near as good as Räikkönen and although I do agree he may even perhaps have more natural speed, he just doesn’t have the spacial awareness or mental skill, or indeed consistency.

          2. @vettel1

            I don’t disagree with your assessment one bit but, if Enstone had real problems with his spacial awareness, mental skill, or consistency, they could have cut him loose a long time ago.

            Other than Kimi (or Alonso, if you go back far enough) RoGro is one of the fastest drivers Enstone has had in a long time – and they may be reluctant to part with him. From their point of view, if they keep RoGro and add Maldonado they get more money, have two talented drivers behind the wheel, and some continuity within the team.

  1. An interesting turnaround from Ferrari given their frustration with Kimi’s attitude when things weren’t going his way in 2008-9. Hopefully they can build a car to match their world class drivers for 2014.

      1. @adityafakhri oh yeah there is always the excuse that “The Wind Tunnel was not calibrated correctly”

        BTW if Alonso and Kimi have very different driving style which I believe they do, then it will be a very difficult proposition to build a car that would suit both styles. Having said that I don’t think are off the mark by a great margin as they might be able to find a mutually amicable design.

  2. Just as big (for me) is the confirmation that Alonso will stay at Ferrari.

    Hulk should be odds-on favorite now for the Lotus seat, but Adam Cooper says Massa still has a legitimate shot at the seat. One of the team’s sponsors, Richard Mille, has strong ties with Nicolas Todt, Felipe’s manager.

    1. I don’t particularly see the problem with the drivers they’ve chosen. Sure, it would be great to get some fresh talent in the other Ferrari seat (ie. Hulkenberg) who could grow and be there for a decade.

      However Alonso and Raikkonen are two clearly outstanding drivers, and this is a fantastic pairing that all F1 fans would love to see! Alonso at 32 and Raikkonen at 33 have at least five years left at the top of their game – look at how Schumacher retired at the height of his powers in 2006 when he was 37. When this pairing is done in two years, and I hope it goes longer, but even then there will still be plenty of long term options available to Ferrari.

    2. It gives them all the options – Hülkenberg is a great driver but probably not what they were looking for.
      They will try to get Hamilton or Vettel for 2016 and complete the line-up with Bianchi or another academy driver.

  3. There is nothing official in this article at all, no press release from Ferrari or Raikonnen, no quotes or statements, nothing. This may be about to happen but nothing in this article despite the title provides anything official at all!

  4. Hooray! My two favourite drivers in my favourite team! Looking forward to the battles. And yeah, guys, Alonso isn’t gonna chicken out – time to prove people wrong ALO!

    1. My top 2 drivers as well.

      The Adrian Newey dominance got me really tired of F1, and Red Bull’s fear of putting a competitive teammate against Vettel really spoiled the 2014 season for me.

      Luckily its Ferrari to the rescue. Its great to finally see a team put two tier 1 drivers as teammates.

      1. It is very likely that hulk will get the lotus seat,then massa should go for the vacant sauber,2014 is a very important year because of the rule change and massa experience with ferrari will definitely help sauber in developing their car.Sauber wont be going in to next year with two rookie drivers i guess they need some one like massa as well

          1. @Todfod I can see you don’t have the slightest flicker of respect for Massa’s achievements, but the man himself does – he stated numerous times that he a) would not become a pay driver and b) would not drive for Caterham or Marussia

          2. @guilherme

            Its not about lacking respect. I just honestly think he isn’t a good option for a lot of midfield teams.
            Force India have a strong line up. Sauber needs pay drivers. Toro Rosso need young upcoming talent. Lotus have strong options already for Kimi’s replacement. Williams might be a team that could use him, but I dont know who they will replace – the money or the young talent.

            That leaves us with Marrussia and Caterham… both of which need money, but could also use the experience of a driver driving for a top team.

            They just seem like the most viable options for Felipe.

  5. Egg on the face situation for Ferrari no matter what they announced.

    By signing Kimi they are effectively admitting they let the wrong driver go in 2010. If they signed Hulkenberg they would be admitting that Alonso has enough sway to dictate his teammate.

    Pro: End of “who is going to Ferrari?” speculation.
    Con: Hulkenberg deserves the drive.

    Massive con: DiResta’s PR team will get hours of plugs about “missing out” on a top drive he was never in the running for anyway.

    1. Massive con: DiResta’s PR team will get hours of plugs about “missing out” on a top drive he was never in the running for anyway.

      Is it weird I read “BBC F1 Coverage” instead of “DiResta’s PR team”? Also, thanks for the small chuckle!

    2. they are effectively admitting they let the wrong driver go in 2010

      Letting Massa go the season after his accident would not have been the right thing to do. I think this move by Ferrari means nothing of the sort.

      1. Why? Plenty of other sports teams let go of their athletes if they had a major injury and return to do poorly… But it wasn’t the season after the injury, it would have been the same season, right? So in essence, he should have been released in summer/fall of 2010.

          1. @raceprouk – I agree, not horrible stats. And given what had happened it is understandable that Ferrari wanted to keep him. By any measure, could have been 2008 WDC (I get that he wasn’t, just saying that he drove well enough to be there), injured in 2009, not a horrible 2010. but since then it’s been bad.

            For the 2010-2012 seasons, looking at the top three teams (FER, RBR, MCL) the cumulative stats for the drivers are:

            MAS scored 49% of ALO pts total and 21% of the podiums.
            WEB scored 73% of VET pts total and 65% of the podiums.
            HAM scored 98% of BUT pts total and 88% of the podiums.

            VET was certainly the standout with 929 pts and 37 podiums but of the other 4 non-MAS drivers, HAM had 657 pts and 22 podiums. MAS had 384 and 7. That is only 58% of HAM pts and 32% of his podiums. I realize this is a lot of numbers but comparing MAS, the sixth driver in this group of six, to the fifth driver HAM, MAS is still the worst in comparison.

            I don’t hate Massa, by any means. (I hate that he seems to have started the “for sure” plague that has spread across F1 interviews like wildfire, but that’s neither here nor there.) I have liked him and pulled for him; and I feel a bit bad for him now. But it’s past time for him to go.

      2. Ferrari paid Kimi not to drive for a year, and his contract was up the following year. Massa, from a recovery point of view, would have been much better off with another 6 months out at least.

        It would have made more sense to keep Massa as third driver, leave Kimi driving in 2010, and wait to see what was the best option for 2011.

        However that assumes that Alonso hadn’t vetoed keeping Kimi, and that politically Kimi was a viable contender within the team. Team politics clearly trumped logic that time.

    1. Easily, even though I can’t get the idea out of my head we could have had this line-up since 2010.. This announcement has only re-awakened my confusion about sending Kimi on paid leave for 2010 while retaining Massa..

    2. Well said. Kudos to Ferrari for finally going ahead a doing it. I’m sure they have gone up a notch (if not several) in every F1 fans book. Now we all know that this is an explosive pairing and potentially the best in the paddock. But the question is, will it back fire on their faces? One thing’s guaranteed though: Absolute entertainment for the fans.
      2005, 2007 re-match – but this time in the same car – 20014, bring it on!

  6. I’m glad to see Raikkonen in a better car and he’s one of my favorite drivers, so joining one of my favorite teams is good news.

    I do hope this ends all the social media hype around Raikkonen, though. Very much tired of the ‘Leave me alone’ jokes, since it was utterly rude of Kimi. I doubt Ferrari will cash in on comments like that, as there are no ‘you are all idiots’ shirts being printed in Italy right now. It’s strange having my favorite 2 drivers at my favorite team, yet the three of them being of questionable decency the last couple of years..

    I’ll still be smiling like a kid come the first 2014 team pictures, though.

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