One of the joys of getting on a plane for 12 hours and then not bothering to look at the news because it is the first day of the holidays, albeit only for a couple of hours, means that I have been gazumped on the Kimi Raikkonen to Renault story. I have to say that I was a little surprised as the team needed a driver to inspire and there is a question mark about Kimi because of the way he left F1. But what the hell! It is good news for F1. The Iceman may not be a media dream but he does know how to drive fast, if he has not lost the edge, a la Michael in recent years. F1 fitness – mental and physical – is a world apart from other championships. This throws the driver market sideways a little as there is now little chance for Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean at Lotus Renault GP. I am also hearing that Bottas is not going to jump straight into F1 immediately so one must guess that Williams will be going down the Adrian Sutil route. Daniel Ricciardo looks like being at Team Caterham, which means that Jarno Trulli is going to get parked, unless Heikki Kovalainen is one the move and there is no real logic in that as the available offers and all teams within reach of Caterham next year and which mat still be going backwards. With a driver line-up of Adrian Sutil and Pastor Maldonado Williams is going to need great engineering.
Renault too need a better car because otherwise Kininwill quickly get bored. He has won 18 Grands Prix and the World Championship so messing about in 15th place is not going to be appealing.
“I’m delighted to be coming back to Formula 1 after a two-year break, and I’m grateful to Lotus Renault GP for offering me this opportunity,” he said. “My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can’t deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming. I’m looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid.”
It is interesting to note that team did not quote Eric Boullier, but rather Gerard Lopez. I guess that when it comes announcements the owners like to get the glory.