Raikkonen receives warm Ferrari welcome on his return to Maranello
18 December, 2013
Kimi Raikkonen made his first appearance at Maranello since being signed to return to Ferrari. He was received enthusiastically by his new colleagues.
Raikkonen was at Maranello to reacquaint himself with the team which spent three seasons with, until 2009, winning the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship in the process.
The Finn was warmly received by Ferrari staff, many of whom he knew from his first stint with the team. He met with team principal Stefano Domenicali, senior engineers and his newly appointed race engineer Antonio Spagnolo.
Raikkonen was also given a tour of the Maranello facilities, including the team’s simulator, which have been upgraded since 2009. He was also shown the 2014 car and given a preliminary seat fitting during the course of his visit.
Ferrari reported, “It was an opportunity to go over the current state of play on the design of the 2014 car, as well as a chance for Kimi to meet up with many old friends who, in a few weeks time will once again be his team mates.”
After being paid to leave Ferrari at the end of 2009, and make way for Fernando Alonso, Raikkonen took a break from Formula 1 before returning in 2011 to drive for Lotus. He won two races for the black and gold team.
He missed the final two races of the 2013 season due to a back injury which required an operation. At the same time Raikkonen revealed that Lotus had not paid him any money for his services, prompting the decision to sort out the recurring back problem which had returned to afflict him.
Raikkonen will partner Fernando Alonso in the team, making it the most experienced driver pairing on the grid. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.