Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen is back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time since 2009 after joining up with Lotus. The Finn, 32, began a two-day re-acclimatisation test with his new Lotus team, formerly Renault, on Monday.
After a two-year stint in rallying, Raikkonen is driving a Renault at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Spain. He will drive the team’s 2012 car at Jerez in next month’s first pre-season test. The 2010 car, with which the team’s former driver Robert Kubica impressed that season, has been repainted in the black and gold colours adopted by the team since they rebranded themselves as Lotus. BBC Sport
Last November he confirmed he was returning to Formula One with Lotus-Renault after signing a two-year contract. “I had no plans for the future, I have no plans now for the future,” he said. “There were different choices for this year but I really wanted to do racing - I did some Nascar last year and I really enjoyed competing against people again.
“It was then that I decided to do some racing again and F1 is the highest level of racing and where people want to be. Raikkonen, who has 18 race wins, and 16 pole positions, believes the biggest challenges to overcome will be the Pirelli tyre, which came in at the start of 2011, and the physical demands of driving an F1 car. ‘The braking distances, the G-forces, the acceleration, those will come back very quickly,’ he said.