After much speculation including most recently talks with Williams F1, Kimi Raikkonen has finally made it official: he's back in F1, with Lotus Renault GP.
Announced today, the recently rally-focused Finn's return to F1 comes three seasons after his last with Ferrari. Raikkonen has signed a two-year agreement with Lotus Renault starting from the 2012 season.
Raikkonen explained his departure from WRC and return to F1, saying, "My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can’t deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming."
Raikkonen's arrival brings a much-needed baseline to the Renault effort, as his 18 wins, 62 podiums, 16 poles, and one previous F1 Driver's Championship back up the Ice Man's credibility as a driver. Putting that skill to work developing the Lotus Renault chassis and aerodynamics package will likely see the already mid-pack team eyeing even better results.
The team hasn't yet announced which driver among the several current and reserve drivers will be Raikkonen's teammate on the grid next year; Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean and Robert Kubica are all possibilities.
Check out the video below for the official announcement, complete with Kimi's characteristic dry delivery.