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Kimi Räikkönen returns to Ferrari for 2014 - Champion move leaves Lotus bereft

Published by Mr. C

Ferrari confirmed today that Finnish world champion Kimi Räikkönen has signed a two year deal to drive for them from 2014. The move will see the Finnish driver returning to the team with whom he won the driver's title back in 2007.

The news comes just one day after Felipe Massa announced he would be vacating the seat next season. For his part Kimi appears to be relishing a return to the Italian team.

I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years.

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.

Kimi Räikkönen signs with Ferrari for the 2014 season
Credit: Pirelli S.p.A.

Räikkönen will partner Fernando Alonso next year, a man not known for appreciating a driver of Kimi's calibre seated in equal machinery.

With a payroll now boasting not one but two world champions, Ferrari will have what could be considered the strongest line up on the grid for next year - a departure from their long standing approach of paring a strong personality alongside a supporting driver.

Kimi's previous stint with the team saw him paid to relinquish his seat earlier than planned, a move which ultimately led to him taking a sabbatical from Formula 1 until his return with Lotus F1 for the 2012 season.

Today's move leaves the Lotus team with a spare slot and the requirement for a new lead driver. A number of interested parties will no doubt to be vying for that vacant spot at this very moment.