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Formula One's Kimi Raikkonen to rejoin Ferrari team next year

September 11, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Kimi Raikkonen celebrates a victory in 2007.
Kimi Raikkonen celebrates a victory in 2007. (Kerim Okten / European Press…)

Ferrari's Formula One team said Wednesday that former champion Kimi Raikkonen would rejoin the team next year to replace the departing Felipe Massa.

In a two-sentence announcement on its website headlined, "Welcome back, Kimi!" Ferrari said Raikkonen signed a two-year deal to join the Italian team. Its other driver is two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Raikkonen, a taciturn, 33-year-old Finnish driver nicknamed "The Iceman," drove for Ferrari in 2007-09, and he won the Formula One world championship with the team in 2007.

He parted ways with Ferrari after 2009 and was replaced by Alonso. Raikkonen then raced rally cars, briefly dabbled in NASCAR stock-car racing and returned to Formula One in 2012 with the Lotus team.

Raikkonen won this year's season opener, the Australian Grand Prix, with Lotus and is fourth in the title standings.

Overall, Raikkonen has 20 career victories in 189 Formula One starts.

"I am really happy to be returning," Raikkonen (pronounced Rye-ko-nen) said on Ferrari's website. He added that he was looking forward to "working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves."

The announcement came one day after Massa, 32, said he would not return to Ferrari next year. Massa had driven for the team since 2006.

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