Official: Räikkönen seals Ferrari return

Official: Räikkönen seals Ferrari return

11 September 2013 – Ferrari has confirmed that Kimi Räikkönen will return to the team in 2014, partnering Fernando Alonso on a two-year deal. The Finn is to replace long-time driver Felipe Massa, who on Tuesday evening revealed his impending departure.

"I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his World Champion title," Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali explained after the agreement was made public. "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."

Räikkönen's first spell with Ferrari began in 2007, after stints at Sauber and McLaren. But despite immediately notching up a title, relations soured and Ferrari ultimately paid off his contract at the end of 2009 to allow for the arrival of Fernando Alonso.

After a two-year sabbatical, Räikkönen made his Formula 1 comeback with Lotus last year. Having impressed with his pace and consistency, he became a sought-after commodity once more, and a number of teams expressed an interest in his services.

With Mark Webber's Red Bull exit revealed at the British Grand Prix, Räikkönen had been the favourite to join Sebastian Vettel, but team chiefs instead opted to promote junior star Daniel Ricciardo. The 33-year-old was then tipped to remain at Lotus, but the outfit has been unable to provide the desired technical and financial assurances.

Upon his return to Ferrari, Räikkönen remains the Italian marque's latest individual title-winner courtesy of his 2007 success. At the end of a dramatic season finale in Brazil, he out-scored then McLaren rivals Lewis Hamilton and Alonso by one point.

It will be the first time since the 1953 Formula 1 campaign, when Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina were paired together, that Ferrari has fielded two World Champions.

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