Date: 14th February 2012 at 8:45am
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One of the highlights of the opening days of the first test in Jerez was seeing 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen back on the track.

When the rumours started linking Raikkonen with a return to Formula One towards the mid-way point of last season, most people were surprised.

The Finnish driver appeared to have lost his motivation for the sport after winning the title with Ferrari and had become better known for never smiling, always looking miserable and eating an ice cream in the Ferrari garage while all the other drivers had stayed with their cars during a red flag period at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.

His raw pace had been forgotten, until last week, when he sent the new Lotus [Renault] to the top of time sheets on the opening day of testing.

The first few days of testing might not be about times and eventually as the sessions drifted by, Kimi’s time did drop down the rankings, but it was a brief look at what could be a Kimi Raikkonen v2.

‘He smiles a lot when he’s with us! But most importantly that says he feels more like part of the family.’ Lotus F1 owner Gerard Lopez told Autosport Magazine.

Lopez added: ‘I think Kimi has a public image that honestly from what we’ve seen does not translate into how he really is. He’s a very hard worker, very good at providing feedback, and has a good team spirit.

‘Once we talked to him, once we understood why he was coming back, we really felt comfortable. If you look at what happened [at the test], nobody can say that he’s not on the pace.’


Lets hope it stays that way, because when on form Raikkonen can be a very enjoyable racer to watch.