Raikkonen could test 2009 car before Jerez

By on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

© Lotus Renault GP

Kimi Raikkonen announced today that he will return to Formula One with Renault next season which means that for the first time ever, there will be six world champions on the grid in 2012. Although currently known as Renault, the team will race under the name Lotus from next season. Since Renault finished fifth in the constructors' standings this year, Raikkonen will race with either the number 9 or 10 his car next year.

After two years away from F1, it is highly likely that the 2007 World Champion will be race rusty, especially with the introduction of DRS and the Pirelli tyres during his absence.

Officially, the first opportunity the Finn will have to test Renault's 2012 car is on February 7 in Jerez, Spain during the pre-season winter testing session. However, according to F1 journalist Adam Cooper, there is the possibility that Raikkonen could test the 2009 Renault car which does not fall under the testing ban. Renault previously had a test car and a dedicated crew on standby in anticipation for Polish driver Robert Kubica's return. The test car that was prepared for Kubica can now be allocated to Raikkonen to help ease his transition back into Formula One after two years competing in the World Rally Championship.

Kubica confirmed last week that he would not be ready in time for the start of the 2012 season, therefore allowing Renault to look for possible replacements for him. With Raikkonen signing a two-year contract with Renault, the Pole's chances of returning to Formula One look increasingly remote.

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