Top moments of 2012, #9: Raikkonen: What was he thinking?

Kimi Raikkonen and is successful comeback lands in the 9th spot in the top 20 moments. The Iceman returned to Formula One with the Lotus team. His fans were happy, while others questioned his decision.

Kimi Raikkonen was coming back to Formula 1 in 2012 after his post-Ferrari "gardening leave" for two full-seasons in WRC and even a short stint with NASCAR? How could he possibly still have the touch after being out of the loop for so long? We'd all seen what a long layoff had done for Michael Schumacher; surely Raikkonen wouldn't do better than the seven-time champion.

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team celebrates on the podium
Race winner Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team celebrates on the podium

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Turns out the fire never left this Finn - he not only placed third in the season-long driver's scramble but he beat both vaunted McLaren drivers in the process. Raikkonen's masterful job of working off the rust, piling up the points, picking up a win, finishing on-podium seven times and helping Lotus F1 Team reach heights they could only dream of attaining before his return answered every single skeptic worldwide - and probably even Kimi himself.

After all, there's been a sea change since 2009 in F1 - tires have changed, teams have changed, drivers have come and gone since Raikkonen's last tenure with Ferrari at the top of the sport. The cars are different to drive than they were during his last stint and there are new - and more - tracks on the schedule he had to learn.

The Iceman came; he saw what needed to be done and went about his business with customary quiet fortitude. Just about the only time Kimi Raikkonen put a wheel wrong was in the finale at Brazil when he took a no-longer-used escape road.

What is the best way to sum up Kimi Raikkonen's triumphant return to the Formula 1? How about what he told his talkative engineer en route to his 2012 victory over both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at Abu Dhabi:
"Leave me alone. I know what I'm doing."

Next: moment #8 and Previous: moment #10

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Lotus F1 Team
Article type Special feature
Tags lotus, raikkonen, renault, top moment