Raikkonen to stay another year in Formula One with Lotus
By Berthold Bouman
will stay another year with Lotus, sources today reported. The Iceman as his nickname is, made a comeback to Formula One with Lotus this year after he retired in 2009. Unlike Michael Schumacher’s return, the Finn’s return was successful to say the least, he is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of both the McLaren and Mercedes drivers, the only thing still missing this season is a race victory.
During his two-year absence Raikkonen was active in the World Rally Championship for Citroen, but he couldn’t say no when Lotus made him an offer at the end of 2011 to return to the sport . The 2007 World Champion, now 33-years old, has been one of the most consistent drivers in 2012, and the Lotus proved to be a very reliable car, which resulted in his third place in the championship.
However, Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier warned it is unlikely Raikkonen would win one of the three remaining races of the season. “Realistically, I would be kidding people if I said we would win a race this year. If we’re in a position to fight until the end, to threaten the third position (in the drivers’ championship), I’ll be happy with that, to be honest.
“Yes, it’s frustrating at not getting this missing, or elusive win, but we had a good start to the season, with a new package and two new drivers. If we make a good start next year it will be a different story.”
In a statement issued by Lotus today Raikkonen said, “I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the Drivers’ Championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis.
“I feel very comfortable with Lotus F1 Team and we share the same philosophy of racing. Continuing with the team was an obvious choice for me and I’m looking forward to making another step forward together next year.”
And Boullier added, “Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula 1. From the first time he sat in the car this year it was clear he had lost none of his pace or technical feedback and we have been rewarded by a focused and motivated driver all season.
“For Lotus F1 Team to be fighting for such strong championship positions this year is in no small part attributed to Kimi’s talent and experience of racing. It was a natural conclusion for us to confirm that we will be harnessing his abilities for next season.”
Lotus posted a short video on their YouTube channel which ends with the message, “Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus F1 team in 2013. The story continues.”
Check out this exclusive behind the scenes video as we delve into the life of racing superstar Kimi Raikkonen and unveil the biggest news in the F1 paddock right now…