Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Raikkonen can put victory hopes on ice


By Abhishek Takle

Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Formula One after a two-year hiatus has enthused media, fans and rivals alike. But the question remains — does the Iceman’s comeback mean a cooling of double world champion Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of being red-hot favourite again next year?

Almost certainly not. Raikkonen’s return is certainly a good thing for Formula One. For the first time ever, the sport will see six world champions line up on the starting grid.

Known for his often monosyllabic approach to the media and love of a good party away from the racetrack, the return of the steely-eyed Finn will add another welcome storyline.

But don’t expect him to win a second world title.

For one, Raikkonen makes his return with what will be called the Lotus team next year. While a solid midfield team of late in their Renault guise, they haven’t won a race since 2008 when Fernando Alonso was driving for them.