Raikkonen to remain at Lotus in 2013

2013 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen will continue driving for Lotus in 2013, the team have confirmed.

Raikkonen returned to F1 with the team this year following a two-year absence from competition.

“I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far,” said Raikkonen.

“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.”

Team principal Eric Boullier hailed Raikkonen “exceptional comeback”:

“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.”

The announcement was made in a video on the team’s YouTube account on Monday:

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “Raikkonen to remain at Lotus in 2013”

  1. What a surprising move!

  2. I thought he had a three year contract. Didn’t he?

    1. Two:

      Kimi Raikkonen to return to F1 with Renault in 2012

      So all this says is he hasn’t been nabbed by someone else. Which, with all the seats in quicker cars taken, already looked unlikely.

      1. Yeah, I think they even said a couple of weeks ago that the performance clauses in the original contract had already been met, making it just the announcement of a done deal.

        I guess we have to give them credit for choosing a nice form for the message though with the video message

  3. Wow. Such shocking news. /sarcasm

    Will be interesting to see if he sticks around for 2014 though, especially if there’s any truth to a change of ownership at Lotus F1.

    1. Why should the owner of the team matter to Raikkonen? So long as he feels they are the most competitive team available to him, he will stay with them.

  4. Hope next year they have a car of similar quality as their current car.

    1. similar quality?? a car that cant even match the straightline speed of ferrari with drs activation…..

      I hope for better seriously….

      1. a car that cant even match the straightline speed of ferrari with drs activation

        You could say the same thing about the RB8, and I don’t think that anyone would call that a bad car.

        1. except that the car can get pole………….

          comparing lemon with apple…

  5. No, hope for better !!

  6. Well a pretty obvious piece of news from Lotus here but I’m glad he is sticking around. If Lotus can improve on this year he has a very good shot at the title. In his first year back he is sitting 3rd in the championship with a few races to go, extremely impressive

  7. Kimi Raikkonen has had a better than expected comeback year! :) Hopefully next year Lotus can produce another quality car without the problems they have had recently. No WDC this year, but maybe another in the future.

  8. If Lotus don’t make a step forwards, and Kimi wins at least once, it will be a wasted year for them in 2013.

    1. Brilliant! They’ve embraced Kimi’s media awkwardness and I’m sure he’ll find that very funny too!

    2. They should have a ‘I don’t care’ option as well, another of Kimi’s favourites.

    3. I love that! Good to see Lotus have a sense of humor!

    4. Haha awesome !!

  9. If you sign a multiple year contract with a team, it doesn’t really worth an announcement that “we are continuing together”. Performance clauses is another question, but I think that both Lotus and Räikkönen performed better than anybody expected from them. And I have a fear that they cannot repeat this great performance next year, as this years car was born under the Heidfeld-era, Räikkönen and Grosjean are only exploiting this car, but although they have an exceptional speed, they are not really the car-developer types, so I fear that they will be suffering with next years car (they? well Grosjean is the one that hasn’t been confirmed yet).

    1. Jani Karusalmi
      29th October 2012, 12:39

      Drivers don’t develop cars. They just give feedback about how they feel and what they would like to be different. Alonso has been regarded as a great car-developer but that didn’t help Ferrari much in early 2012. And nobody is praising Vettel for being great car-developer, it’s always Newey who gets the applause. As it should be, engineers are the one’s developing the car and if next years Lotus is slower than this year it will not be because of Kimi or Romain.

    2. Very strange comment @andrewt. Engineers design cars, and without in season testing I am very sceptical as to how much a driver can influence development during a season.

      Regardless of that point, Renault went completely the wrong way on development last season, they basically had to start afresh as it went so badly. This season they got it right with the design early doors and came up with a fundamentally good car. That good car was not as a result of good development done by last seasons drivers, the Renault got progressively worse towards the end of the year up to a point where they very rarely made Q3. Especially not by Heidfeld seeing as he was essentially a stand in and got let go by just after half way.

    3. Heidfeld brought nothing to F1

      1. Ok so what does Kimi bring exactly? He isn’t winning and makes mistakes in qualifying now. So…? Just curious. And don’t pretend the Lotus is a bad car, because it’s still capable of top 10 and was at least podium worthy at various times.

        1. the lotus is a bad car now since 2nd half of the season. dont pretend the car hv podium pace since hungary because it doesnt. In fact, it was miracle that kimi can get 3rd on Spa despite lacking straightline speed.

  10. Team principal Eric Boullier *f*ailed Raikkonen “exceptional comeback”? Hailed?

  11. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    29th October 2012, 12:55

    Pretty much saw this coming. With no vacancies available at the other top teams, Raikkonen’s best option was always to stick with Lotus, who seem capable of developing a relatively competitive car. What they need to do next year is find some qualifying pace, and bolster their in-season car development (the Lotus hasn’t improved as much over this year as, say, the Ferrari). Here’s hoping we can finally see Kimi bag that breakthrough comeback win.

  12. I see your point, and maybe I didn’t use the right words to express my view. I gues we both agree that there are drivers that can be involved more heavily into the car development, moreover you can rely on them, taking your car development direction in a way they prefer due to their complex understanding of the whole process. Of course the drivers are not engineers, but could have gained the kind of experience that makes them competent in setting right directions for the engineers.
    My view is that Heidfeld is familiar with these kind of things, and as soon as he provided the direction, feedback, knowledge, whatever we call it, to the engineers setting the basis of the next years car, he was dropped due financial considerations. Räikkönen and Grosjean have never proved themselves as “interested or capable in participating in car development”, they are just fast with the equipment they get.
    Staying at Lotus/Renault, we can’t simply just pass a few things: in 2009 Alonso set the basis of the 2010 car, which proved to be a solid one. in 2010 Kubica did the same with the 2011 car, which didn’t. Of course engineers developed the car, but in my point of view it does matter whcih driver they work together in this.

    1. actually, kimi is very good in providing insightful feedback from the car, thats why the team has been using him to test various updates!!

      He is very sensitive of the car, hence he can sense what went wrong.

      Early in the winter testing, kimi told the team before barcelona testing that the car felt weird, and immediately, the team found something wrong with the suspension in barcelona testing. Ever since then, the team has been placing faith on his feedbacks.

      1. “the car felt weird” is not insightful feedback

        1. at least it showed that he can sense microchanges on the car. These kind of mechanical failures aint easy to spot.

          he can describe more on components that are more apparent to spot to the team in more “insightful way”

      2. kimiforwc2013 (@)
        26th January 2013, 10:41

        The former Renault team had earlier called a halt to the first day of the session at the Circuit de Catalunya after Frenchman Romain Grosjean had completed just seven laps in the second chassis.
        Just to put things right.

    2. mclaren engineers told the same thing to Button as jenson mentioned earlier this year that he was told about kimi ‘s technical abilities by the engineers.

      Dont worry about it.

  13. Team principal Eric Boullier failed Raikkonen “exceptional comeback:

    I assume you mean “hailed” Keith :D

    1. Changed it, thanks.

  14. Expected, yet still soothing news.

    I thought Lotus will reveal both of their 2013 at the same time, but nothing was said about Grosjean today. Maybe his seat isn’t as secured as what Boullier wants us to think? Could they possibly be looking for alternatives?
    Honestly, I have nothing against replacing Grosjean with someone more stable to bring the points home.

    1. *2013 drivers, obviously

  15. Wise choice from both sides. Raikkonen has been a pleasure to watch this year. Hopefully they can build on their success, get this DDRS sorted for next year and provide us with a win or two next year.

  16. Raikkonen wants pay-rise = he got it for 2013
    Newey wants freedom design = he got it with RBR
    Vettel wants victories = he got it with Newey
    Alonso wants team-order = he got it with Ferrari
    Everybody happy so let it be..

  17. i think raikkonen is good enough for ferrari or mclaren, his consistency has been brilliant this season, people easily forger he left F1 for 2 seasons, imo kimi wont win races with lotus not this year or the next
    heres to hoping kimi ends up replacing massa at ferrari

  18. Lotus Renault has found a good team with Kimi and Romain, the return to F1 by the Finn iceman is quite exceptional and the fenchie baby driver has proved a lack of maturity but not a lack of grit cum gift
    as F1 amateur and owing beautiful cars, my concern is more about image and brand management really, I am surprise by the collective media silence about Raïkkõnen, it’s fun because he has a lot of fans, I particulatly like his cold attitude although if I were to consult about his career I would improve the PR factor, as for Grosjean I think he is quite good and ahead of future success

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