Kimi: I feel like I’m coming home
Kimi Raikkonen insists he won’t take long to get back in the F1 groove as it feels like he is “coming home”.
The Finn spent the past two years competing in the World Rally Championship, but he will return to Formula One in 2012 after signing a two-year contract with Lotus Renault. Many pundits believe Raikkonen will struggle on his return, but the 2007 World Champion doesn’t think he will take too long to come to grips with the new regulations.
“Let’s put it this way: before my two years of rallying I had nine seasons, 157 races and 18 wins in Formula 1. I know the sport well,” he told the official Lotus website. “When I went to rallying and when I tried NASCAR, there were many new things to learn, but with Formula 1 I feel like I’m coming home. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel.” He added: “I am more motivated than ever and I don’t think I’ve lost any speed.
“Getting on top of the tyres will be the hardest thing, of course, but I’m not really worried. “Although the technical regulations don’t seem to change much, they apply to a lot of areas and quite a few elements will have to be re-designed. As a result, the cars will be significantly different next year. The order could be shaken up, which will make things very interesting.” Raikkonen has already paid a couple of visits to the team’s base at Enstone and liked what he saw.
“The first one, at the team’s Christmas party, made me realise how much support I have there,” he said. “The second one, last week, allowed me to understand that this team has not been World Champion by coincidence. “I also saw all the investments they have made recently: new simulator building, CFD upgrade, 60% wind tunnel… It gives me a lot of confidence for the season ahead.”