ENSTONE, England – Kimi Raikkonen will continue racing with Lotus next year in the Formula One World Championship.
It follows a successful comeback season for the Finn, who lies third in the championship on the back of six podium finishes and point-scoring results in all but one 2012 round.
Raikkonen, world champion with Ferrari in 2007, joined Lotus on a two-year deal last November and with performance criteria on both sides no doubt having been met, the team released a promotional video on Monday indicating that the partnership will indeed continue.
“I think my return to Formula One has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far,” said Raikkonen in a team statement. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the drivers’ championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis.
“I feel very comfortable with Lotus F1 Team and we share the same philosophy of racing. Continuing with the team was an obvious choice for me and I’m looking forward to making another step forward together next year.”
Along with Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen is one of five men who still have a mathematical shot at the 2012 title with just three rounds remaining. He will play an active role in the design of Lotus’s 2013 car, the E21, and has already started giving input.
“Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula One,” commented Lotus team principal Eric Boullier. “From the first time he sat in the car this year it was clear he had lost none of his pace or technical feedback and we have been rewarded by a focused and motivated driver all season.
“For Lotus F1 Team to be fighting for such strong championship positions this year is in no small part attributed to Kimi’s talent and experience of racing. It was a natural conclusion for us to confirm that we will be harnessing his abilities for next season.”
Lotus have yet to confirm whether Raikkonen’s current team mate, Romain Grosjean, will be retained for next season.