Raikkonen return impresses champions Lauda, Fittipaldi

Apr.2 (GMM) Two former champions have admitted they are impressed with how Kimi Raikkonen has re-adjusted to Formula One after two years off the grid.

Niki Lauda, the plain-speaking triple world champion, hailed F1's 2007 title winner for driving "as though he had never been away" in the early phase of his return this season, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Emerson Fittipaldi, the double champion of the 70s, agrees.

Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi

Photo by: Team Lotus

"I am surprised that it has taken no time for Kimi to be back at the top of his form," said the Brazilian.

"Michael Schumacher is on form this year too, but it took him two years to get back in the groove. Kimi was on it from the very first test," he added.

Fittipaldi, meanwhile, had some advice for Raikkonen's Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean, who despite showing promise is yet to see the chequered flag in 2012 after a collision in Melbourne and a spin in Malaysia.

"(It's) the same advice I'd give any driver, especially a young one: first you have to finish, then you can finish first," he said.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen , Niki Lauda , Emerson Fittipaldi , Romain Grosjean
Teams Team Lotus
Tags featured, fittipaldi, global motorsport media, lauda, lotus, raikkonen