After all the talk about Kimi Raikkonen driving for Williams in 2012, he will be returning to Formula One… with Lotus (currently Renault). The 2007 world champion will join five other world champions (Schumacher, Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Alonso) on track. That’s a quarter of the drivers!
The contract is for two years, and causes a lot of havoc as three drivers attempt to secure the other seat at the team. Petrov has a contract, but GP2 champion Romain Grosjean would be the most likely choice for partnering the Finn in my opinion.
The most likely scenario now at Williams is that Adrian Sutil will replace Rubens Barrichello, while Nico Hulkenberg partners Paul di Resta at Force India. I would prefer it if Pastor Maldonado was replaced, but that’s an argument I’ve put forward many times already.
Raikkonen used to hold the record for most Formula Renault UK wins in a season, along with Lewis Hamilton, until Alex Lynn beat it this year. He was the first winner of the DHL Fastest Lap award in his championship season, winning it from Felipe Massa on a tie break (both had 6 fastest laps and 2 second-fastest laps, but Kimi had more third-fastest laps). He won it again in 2008 with a dominating ten fastest laps. So far, he is the only person to have won it more than once.
More news to come soon on the remaining seats I am sure. Force India should be announced on the 16th.