Date: 29th November 2011 at 9:51am
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2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed he will return to F1 for 2012.

But it will not be with the Williams Team which has been strongly rumoured for the past couple of months.

Instead the now 32-year-old Finn has signed a two-year deal with Lotus Renault GP.

For those who haven’t kept up with the latest Lotus name changes, Lotus Renault GP are the team who ran with the ‘John Player Special’ style Black and Gold livery this season. They were known as Renault, but for the 2012 season they will be known as Lotus F1 Team.

‘I’m delighted to be coming back to Formula 1 after a two-year break, and I’m grateful to Lotus Renault GP for offering me this opportunity. My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can’t deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming. Raikkonen told Autosport Magazine.

He added: ‘It was an easy choice to return with Lotus Renault GP as I have been impressed by the scope of the team’s ambition. Now I’m looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid.’

Team owner Gerard Lopez added: ‘Kimi’s decision to come back to Formula 1 with us is the first step of several announcements which should turn us into an even more serious contender in the future. Of course, we are all looking forward to working with a world champion. On behalf of our staff, I’d like to welcome Kimi to Enstone, a setting that has always been known for its human approach to Formula 1.’

Raikkonen has 18 race wins since making his Grand Prix debut in 2001, he has also stood on the podium 62 times.

But he hasn’t raced in Formula One since he was dropped from the Ferrari team in 2009, over the past two seasons he has raced for Citroen in the World Rally Championship and has also raced in the Nascar Truck Series and Nationwide Series.