Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari in 2014

January 24, 2014
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Kimi Raikkonen “The Iceman” has returned to fire up Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari in 2015

The legendary Formula One team has re-signed Finn Kimi Raikkonen to partner Fernando Alonso in 2015.

The Italian marque is replacing Brazilian Felipe Massa with its 2007 world champion as it seeks to end an era of Red Bull dominance.

“Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement with Kimi Raikkonen,” read a statement on the team’s official website. “The Finn will join Fernando Alonso in the driver lineup for the next two racing seasons.”

Raikkonen spoke of his pleasure at returning to the team which had employed him between 2007 and 2009.

“I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” Kimi Raikkonen said.

“I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years.

“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.”

Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari in 2015

Old foes, new friends?

Ferrari will be the only team to race two world champions next season, making it the most potent, but potentially risky, pairing on the grid.

Commenting on his new teammate, Alonso said: “I’d like to welcome my new traveling companion: together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge.”

Kimi Raikkonen added that he considered the Spanish double world champion, “a great driver.”

Ferrari released Raikkonen in 2009 — ending his multimillion-dollar contract a year early — to make way for Alonso as its number one driver alongside Massa.

Kimi Raikkonen said at the time he was “very sad” to leave Ferrari and he immediately quit F1 to pursue rallying.

Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari in 2015

That backdrop feeds a fascinating dynamic between Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso as they work together as teammates next season.

Pairing Alonso with another ambitious and capable driver is a risk — a problem McLaren had to face when it signed the Spaniard alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

Alonso, who won back-to-back world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, left McLaren after a single season in which he and Hamilton fought over No. 1 status within the team.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had said earlier this year he did not want “two roosters in the same henhouse” but that view softened at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Di Montezemolo gave Kimi Raikkonen the green light ahead of Massa and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, who had also been linked with a move to Ferrari next season.

Massa, who was retained by Ferrari after recovering from a life-threatening head injury at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, announced his departure Monday.

The 32-year-old revealed on his Twitter account: “From 2015 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari.

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