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Kimi Raikkonen moves to Ferrari from Lotus, for 2014 and 2015

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One time Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, has moved to Italian F1 racing outfit Ferrari, for the 2014 and 2015 Formula 1 seasons. Raikkonen, who won a championship for Ferrari in 2007, took a break from F1 racing in 2010, even as Fernando Alonso joined the Italian outfit. The Finn participated in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship races in 2010 and 2011, before returning to F1 with Team Lotus in 2012. With Lotus, Raikkonen has turned in strong performances in 2012 (when he finished 3rd overall) and in 2013 (4th place currently). 

Raikkonen joining Ferrari in 2014, with a two year contract has seen Felipe Massa moving out of the Italian F1 outfit. It remains unclear as to where Massa would head for 2014. The F1 grapevine suggests that Raikkonen's place at Lotus would be taken by German Nico Hulkenberg, while the other racing position would be retained by current driver, Franco-Swiss Romain Grosjean. Raikkonen's second stint at Ferrari is only the second such driver recall at the Italian team, after Gerhard Berger's twin stints with the Maranello based outfit in the 1980s and 90s. 

Speculations are rife that sparks could fly at Ferrari in 2014 as the team is hosting two former F1 world champions, Fernando Alonso (two titles with Renault) and Kimi Raikkonen (one title with Ferrari). Fernando Alonso, in the past, has indicated that Ferrari give him priority over Massa. With Raikkonen having an equally big reputation, Alonso might not have his way at Ferrari anymore. Since Michael Schumacher joining Ferrari in 1996, the Italian team has chosen to focus on one driver for the championship effort, with the other playing a supporting role.

In fact, the last time that two F1 champions drove alongside each other for Ferrari was five decades ago, in 1953, when Italians Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina shared the motor home. It'll be interesting to see how Ferrari handles two drivers, both at the top of their games, from next year. Raikkonen's comeback into Ferrari could be made easier as the team now features Pat Fry and James Allison, two former technical directors who've worked with the Finn at his former F1 teams, Mclaren and Lotus. For now, here are quotes from Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, in that order. 

Ferrari

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.  

Kimi Raikkonen

I'm happy to be returning to Maranello. I can't wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves. 

Fernando Alonso

I'd like to welcome my new traveling companion (in obvious reference to Raikkonen). Together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge. 

Image sourced from UTSanDiego

 

 
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