The 2007 Formula One Champion returned to F1 with Lotus in 2012 after trying to make the transition to NASCAR in 2010 and 2011. The 32-year old Finn currently is third in the points standings and has six podium finishes in the 17 events this season. His 5.4 average finish this season is the third best of his 10-year Formula One career which began back in 2001.
“I think my return to Formula One has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far,” said Raikkonen in a statement. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be fighting for the Drivers’ Championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis."
Raikkonen was on the radar for other F1 teams like Ferrari and McLaren but once those teams decided to go another direction for 2013 it made sense for Raikkonen to stay in his already competitive situation and try to get his first win with Lotus.
“Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula One," Lotus F1 boss Eric Boullier said. "From the first time he sat in the car this year it was clear he had lost none of his pace or technical feedback and we have been rewarded by a focused and motivated driver all season. For Lotus F1 Team to be fighting for such strong championship positions this year is in no small part attributed to Kimi’s talent and experience of racing. It was a natural conclusion for us to confirm that we will be harnessing his abilities for next season.”
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