Räikkönen: Continuing with Lotus an obvious choice
29 October 2012 – Kimi Räikkönen claims he did not have to question his motives for staying at Lotus for the 2013 Formula 1 season. In his comeback year, the 2007 World Champion is yet to win a race but lies third in the championship by virtue of his consistency. Between Australia and India, he has failed to score on only one occasion.
On Monday, Lotus released a video confirming that the Finn will stay put next year. However, in November, the Enstone outfit formerly known as Renault had already announced a two-year deal with the ex Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver.
“I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far,” he says. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it’s been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis.
“I feel very comfortable with Lotus 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.”
Team Principal Eric Boullier, who took up that role with the team in 2010, has hailed his lead driver’s return after a two-year F1 sabbatical.
“Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula 1,” Boullier comments. “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 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.”
Räikkönen is the only driver to complete every racing lap so far this year and only failed to score in China because of an error with tyre strategy. Six times on the podium, he has finished in the top five on no less than ten occasions.
Räikkönen remains with Lotus for 2013