Date: 11th September 2013 at 3:01pm
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As expected Kimi Raikkonen will leave Lotus at the end of the season and re-join Ferrari for the 2014 Formula One season.

Following the announcement from Felipe Massa yesterday, Ferrari have confirmed that Raikkonen has signed a two-year contract.

The Finn returns to the team that provided him with his only Formula One title, when the now 33-year-old won the 2007 Formula One World Championship during his first year with the team, winning the final race of the season in Brazil to beat the then McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point.

He remained with Ferrari for the following two seasons, but only won a further three races and eventually was paid off by Ferrari to leave the team despite still being under contract with the Maranello team.

That decision by Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo cost the team a reported £20million and Raikkonen went into exile, whilst Ferrari signed Fernando Alonso.

Raikkonen’s complete record for Ferrari was:

Races: 52

Wins: 9

Podiums: 26

After two years away from Formula One, participating in the World Rally Championship, NASCAR World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, he returned to Formula One with Lotus in 2012 finishing third in the F1 standings and returning to the top step of the podium in Abu Dhabi.

This season he won the opening race of the season in Australia and at the Belgian Grand Prix, his break failure ended a run of 38 consecutive race finishes which included 27 consecutive points finishes.

As the 2013 season progressed it looked more and more likely that Kimi would leave Lotus at the end of the 2013 campaign.

Reports had suggested that he had gone seven months without pay due to Lotus’s ongoing financial problems and despite seeking reassurances from Lotus that they would remain competitive in the future, Raikkonen opened talks with Red Bull Racing regarding a move to partner Sebastian Vettel following Mark Webber’s decision to announce his retirement at the end of the season.

He had appeared to be the favourite to take the race seat, but eventually contract negotiations broke down and Red Bull opted to promote Daniel Ricciardo from within the Red Bull development programme from sister team Toro Rosso.

After it broke in the media that talks with Red Bull had ended, speculation mounted over his possible return to Ferrari.

With his split from Ferrari in 2009 being far from amicable and Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo not being the type of character to backtrack on a decision to imply any kind of mistake or error, some experts in the paddock immediately dismissed the rumours.

But as the weeks went by it appeared more and more likely that he would make the switch and it was made official by Ferrari with a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon.

‘Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement with Kimi Raikkonen,’

‘The Finn will join Fernando Alonso in the driver line-up for the next two racing seasons.’

For once it was actually Kimi who had more to say on the move, telling the Ferrari website: ?I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years, I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the world championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.

“I can?t wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.?