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Return of the King: Ferrari confirm Raikkonen as 2014 driver

| Source: autosport.com | ferrari.com | grandprix247.com |

kr-ferrari-2014-official

Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari to join Fernando Alonso from 2014, the team has confirmed.

Ferrari’s official announcement of a two-year deal confirms a move that had seemed increasingly inevitable in recent days.

Raikkonen was in the running for the second Red Bull seat alongside Sebastian Vettel, but the champion squad chose its protege Daniel Ricciardo as Mark Webber’s replacement instead.

It then seemed most likely that Raikkonen would remain at current squad Lotus for a third season.

But assurances from the team about its future investment and technical packages were crucial to that deal, and Lotus was not yet in a position to provide those.

With Felipe Massa announcing on Tuesday night that he would leave Ferrari at the end of this season after eight years, and Raikkonen’s rival candidate Nico Hulkenberg informed on Wednesday morning that he would not be required, the 2007 world champion’s return to the Scuderia was sealed.

Raikkonen previously drove for Ferrari from 2007-09.

He came from behind to deny McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso the title in his first season in red, but had to play second fiddle to team-mate Massa’s championship push in 2008.

After a disappointing 2009 campaign, Raikkonen left Ferrari and Formula 1 for a career in the World Rally Championship.

This proved unsuccessful, and having dabbled with NASCAR Truck racing and tested Peugeot’s Le Mans car, he headed back to F1 with Lotus last year.

An immediate frontrunner back in single-seaters, Raikkonen has been among Vettel’s main opposition since his return.

RAIKKONEN’S FERRARI STATS

           2007  2008  2009
Wins        6     2     1
Poles       3     2     0
Champ pos  1st   3rd   6th
Points     110   75    48

Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years. I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable. 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.”

Stefano Domenicali: “I wish to thank Felipe with all my heart and also on behalf of all our fans around the world, for the extraordinary job he has done for the team over so many years. Felipe has always behaved like a real team player. Together we have lived through some great times and also a few dramatic moments, which have helped to cement a truly unique relationship on both a professional and personal level. He will always be part of our family and we wish him all the very best for the future. Now we must concentrate all our efforts on the remaining seven races of the season and we know that, as always, we can count on Felipe’s contribution, while we work together to reach our goals. Our determination will not waver one iota right to the very end. I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his World Championship title,” concluded Domenicali. “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.”
Fernando Alonso: “I want to thank Felipe for all the support he has given me and the team during this journey we have made together over all these years. Come the end of the season, it will not be easy to say goodbye to a team-mate like him. He has always been truly professional and loyal to the team and I am sure that right to the end, he will do his utmost for the Scuderia that he loves so much. I’d like to welcome my new travelling companion: together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge.”

New wallpapers – Return of the King desktops!

 

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2 responses

  1. Leonardo

    Question now is whether Ferrari can seriously challenge Vettel in 2014?

    Like

    September 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

  2. lars

    Judging by their determination I’d say yes, but we won’t know for sure until next year. It will be a thrilling season.

    Like

    September 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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