Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Raikkonen set for F1 return

Finnish driver, Kimi Raikkonen, is to make a long-awaited return to Formula 1 racing, later this month. The former world champion will take the wheel at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on January 23, following a two-year hiatus from the sport, in which he concentrated on rally-style motor racing.

The Espoo-born driver abandoned F1 at the end of 2009, after a disappointing season in the cockpit. He was replaced in the Ferrari team by Spanish driver, Fernando Alonso. However, rumours of Raikkonen's imminent return to the sport began to circulate almost immediately after his departure. Those following the best F1 betting online will be keeping an eye on his return.

Raikkonen, 32, was apparently possessed of a wanderlust; he was briefly linked to Renault, Toyota F1, and Mercedes GP in 2009 and 2010, despite enjoying moderate success in the World Rally Championships. Then, in 2011, he made his debut at the popular stock car racing event, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The Finn will race with Lotus F1, in 2012. "I don't think I've lost any speed", Raikkonen told his new employer. The driver noted that "getting on top of the tyres" will be the biggest challenge of the upcoming season, a comment that hints at Lotus' decision to switch tyre supplier from Bridgestone to Pirelli, last year.

Whether Raikkonen will be able to rediscover the form that saw him become world champion in 2007 is debatable, given that he hasn't driven a F1 car since 2009, but the Finn insists that he is "not worried".

Raikkonen's decision to return to his old stamping ground has not been universally applauded, with some fans taking umbrage with the driver's lack of allegiance to F1 – or indeed, to any sport that he has participated in, over the last few years. The driver says that he is not concerned by critics: "I do my own thing, and, as long as I'm happy with it, then that's the main thing for me".

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