Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, is returning to the sport after signing a two-year deal with the Lotus (formerly Renault / Benetton) team. The Finn was previously linked to a deal with Williams, but has now signed up to partner Russia’s Vitaly Petrov as Lotus seek to move up the grid.
Raikkonen quit Formula One in 2009 to go rallying. After two seasons away, the Finn is seemingly not deterred by the struggles of another returning former champion, Michael Schumacher, who has failed to match his own former glories since coming back with Mercedes in 2010.
The Lotus team ran as Renault this year, but has secured a name change for 2012. Meanwhile, the team that ran as Team Lotus in 2010 and 2011 will run next year as Caterham. Confused? The Lotus / Renault team were supposed to have Poland’s Robert Kubica signed up, but he was injured in a rallying crash before the start of the 2011 season and is still not assured of ever recovering sufficiently to return.