So, the ‘Kimster’ is returning to F1 after all. After two years away comprehensively failing to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with on the World Rally Championship stage, 2007 F1 champ Kimi Räikkönen is returning to the Grand Prix grid in 2012, having signed a two year contract with the Lotus-Renault squad.
It remains to be seen whether this is a truly inspired driver choice by the Enstone-based team or an horrific misjudgement which will leave McLaren and Ferrari – Kimi’s two previous F1 teams – chortling to themselves like Precious Pup.
Because, make no mistake, Raikkonen is like the little girl in the nursery rhyme who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When he was good, he was very, very good, but when he was bad, he was horrid!
The McLaren and Ferrari crews always said they always knew what the weekend would bring as early as 10.30am on a Friday morning on the strength of his mood. Some days they knew he would be blissfully inspired, on others they just felt like loading up the transporter and pushing off home. Yet with 18 wins, 62 podiums and 16 pole positions under his belt the 32-year old Finn is unquestionably a serious contender.
“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,” said Kimi.
“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.”