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MOTORSPORT: Raikkonen's happy to make Ferrari return
10:00am Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
Kimi Raikkonen is looking forward to renewing old acquaintances after his return to Ferrari on a two-year deal was confirmed yesterday.
Raikkonen, who will leave the Enstone-based Lotus team to join Ferrari as the replacement for Felipe Massa next season, won the 2007 world championship during his first stint with the Italian team, but left just two years later after apparently growing disillusioned with the sport.
Two indifferent years in rallying reignited his passion for F1, and he has impressed since returning at the start of 2012, winning two races and finishing third in the drivers’ championship last season.
“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.”
The move pairs the Finn with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in what will arguably be the strongest driver line-up on the grid.
“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,” Raikkonen added.
Raikkonen began 2013 with victory in Australia, and has finished in second place five times in 11 races since.
Lotus reacted to news of Raikkonen's departure with a bizarre message on Twitter, which featured a graphic image of two rabbits mating and the accompanying message: “So #Kimi is off to #Ferrari for 2014; it hurts a little bit... #F1”.
Reports suggest Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg could be his replacement at Lotus.
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