Official: Raikkonen rejoins Ferrari


In a brief statement issued this morning, Ferrari has confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen is to return to the Maranello outfit for 2014.

The statement read:

Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn will join Fernando Alonso in the driver line-up for the next two racing seasons.

"I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his World Championship title," said team boss Stefano Domenicali. "I sense he is very happy to be returning to Maranello and very determined to tackle the work that awaits him in the best way possible."

Raikkonen's return - providing Alonso does indeed remain with Ferrari - means it is the first time since 1953 that the Maranello squad had had two world champions at the wheel. Back then it was Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina.

While the Finn's previous stint with Ferrari got off to the perfect start, winning on his race debut and going on to take the title, by the end, three years later, things had deteriorated.

In much the same was as Michael Schumacher was brushed aside for his arrival, so too was the Finn in order to make way for Alonso.

A year's sabbatical, followed by a little WRC action, saw Raikkonen return to F1 in 2012 with Lotus. However, unlike Schumacher's return to the sport, albeit following a longer period out of it, Raikkonen was impressive right from the outset, finishing third in the championship.

This season got off to the perfect start when he won in Australia, and while there have been no further wins he has finished runner-up five times, though his record-breaking run of 27 finishes in the points came to an end when he suffered brake failure at Spa.

While Lotus believed - or said it believed - it would retain him for 2014, Ferrari is understood to have offered a mouth-watering deal and has the resources not only to fulfil it but also produce a car with which he might take a second title.

Quite how the Iceman will gel with the fiery Spaniard however remains to be seen and will surely have fans, the media and rivals salivating at the prospect.

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Published: 11/09/2013
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