Kimi returns to F1 in 2012 with Lotus Renault

For die-hard fans and followers of Formula 1, 2011 is a year to forget as Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team literally crushed and tore apart the competition in what could be termed as one of the most boring and one-sided championship ever in the sport’s history. The fact that it came right after one of F1’s most interesting and enthralling season in 2010 in which Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel went into the final race still fighting for the championship only made things worse.

Nevertheless, the 2011 season will always be unforgettable for a few things – Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa both enduring a tough season with no less than 6 contacts on track, Webber absolutely clueless to stop the Vettel train and, above all, India successfully hosting its first ever F1 race at the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi. Now, there is one more news to cheer about. Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 World Champion who left the sport in 2009 but continued to be unbelievably popular in the F1 paddock, has announced his comeback in F1.

Kimi, who had raced for Sauber and Mclaren before, came to Ferrari in 2007 stepping into the big shoes of Michael Schumacher. In his very first year with Ferrari, Kimi won the world championship from McLaren’s fighting duo of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point. The years 2008 and 2009, in which he took just 3 victories out of 35 races, were not great partly due to the lack of pace of the Ferrari and partly due to Kimi’s perceived lack of motivation. Even though he had a contract for 2010, Kimi was paid to sit out by Ferrari in favor of Fernando Alonso.

After persistent rumors of his return to F1 with several teams over the past two years, Lotus Renault has finally managed to convince Kimi to get behind the wheel of a F1 car. With changes like DRS and Pirellis that caught out drivers like Mark Webber and Felipe Massa this year, it is not going to be really easy for Kimi to come back and get up to speed immediately. But, with 16 pole positions, 18 race victories, 62 podiums, 35 fastest laps and 579 points in his belt, Kimi is one driver to watch out for in 2012, provided the car is competitive.

With this announcement, the 2012 Formula 1 grid will have no less than 6 World Champions in Michael Schumacher(1994-95, 2000-04), Sebastian Vettel (2010-11), Fernando Alonso (2005-06), Kimi Raikkonen (2007), Lewis Hamilton (2008) and Jenson Button (2009) who, among them, hold a record 14 championships. Now, if only Ferrari and McLaren could find some pace in their cars to challenge the Red Bulls and Mercedes could break into the top league, the 2012 F1 season would become all the more exciting. I, for one, just can’t wait for the parade of champions to begin!

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