Kimi Raikkonen has re-signed for Lotus, the team confirmed in a special promotional video on Monday morning.
The 2007 Formula 1 world champion, who returned to the sport at the beginning of this year after two seasons competing in the World Rally Championship, currently lies third in the 2012 drivers’ standings.
The 33-year-old had long been expected to remain with Lotus for a second season. The team had an option for 2013 based upon certain performance criteria being met, which it has achieved comfortably.
Despite not winning a race on his return, Raikkonen has impressed with six podium finishes and has attained remarkable consistency, scoring points in every race except the Chinese Grand Prix and completing every racing lap in 2012 so far.
Better the Devil You Know – Kimi Räikkönen Confirmed for 2013
Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Kimi Räikkönen will continue to drive for the team in 2013.
Kimi, who currently stands in third position in the FIA Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship, returned to the sport in 2012 after two seasons away and immediately showcased his pace, stepping on the podium six times so far this season – in Bahrain, twice in Spain (Barcelona and Valencia), Germany, Hungary and Belgium.
Kimi has already started giving his input on next year’s car, the E21, and will play an active role in the whole design process.
Kimi Räikkönen: “I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the Drivers’ Championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis. I feel very comfortable with Lotus F1 Team 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.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula 1. 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 F1 Team 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.”