Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari in 2014, the Italian team has confirmed. Raikkonen will race alongside Fernando Alonso for the next two years, replacing Felipe Massa.
The move became increasingly likely in recent days, especially after Massa confirmed his own Ferrari exit yesterday. Nico Hulkenberg, another candidate for the vacant seat, was informed this morning that he would not be needed.
"I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” said Raikkonen. "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."
Raikkonen returns to the Scuderia after a 3-year spell at the team, during which he sealed his sold World Championship title in 2007. A disappointing campaign during 2009 eventually forced him out of the sport, choosing to pursue a racing life in rallying.
The popular Finn arguably will make for Ferrari's strongest driver line-up in recent history, and is also likely to increase internal competition within the team.
Raikkonen was set to get out of Lotus, despite his current team willing to retain him. Financial problems however led the Finn to find other places.