Renault has confirmed Kimi Raikkonen will return to Formula 1 racing in 2012, after having secured a deal to compete with the squad.
Renault was forced to search for another driver after Robert Kubica confirmed last week that he would not be ready to start the 2012 season following his dramatic accident in February.
The Renault Lotus team feels that Raikkonen, who has previously won the Formula 1 world championship in 2007 with Ferrari, is an ideal replacement for the recovering Kubica, and have had the Finn sign a two-year deal with the team.
“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 Raikkonen. “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,” he added.
Raikkonen, who had left Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season, moved to the World Rally Championship, where he spent the last two seasons while also competing in one race of the NASCAR Truck series and one nationwide event.
Team owner Gerard Lopez added, “Kimi’s decision to come back to Formula 1 with us is the first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future. Of course, we are all looking forward to working with a world champion. On behalf of our staff, I'd like to welcome Kimi to Enstone, a setting that has always been known for its human approach to Formula 1.”
Sourced from Autosport.com