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Raikkonen: Lotus buzzing - it’s great to be part of it 06 Jan 2012

Kimi Raikkonen Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 in the second practice session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 30 October 2009 Kimi Raikkonen Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 in the first practice session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 30 October 2009

After two years away from the sport, 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is thrilled to be back in a Formula One factory preparing for a new season. Raikkonen spent Thursday at Lotus’s UK base in Enstone meeting engineers and having a seat fitting, before his new team’s winter test schedule gets underway next month.

“There has been quite a bit of noise in the press about my comeback and there have been a lot of rumours,” the 32 year-old Finn told Lotus's website. “For me, coming back to Formula One is a good thing and I hope it will be for the team and the fans also!

"I love this time of the year at the factory. There’s a real buzz surrounding the new car, every single department is working flat out in order to have everything ready on time. You can really feel people’s dedication and it’s nice to be a part of it.”

Although he’d briefly sat in a cockpit when he visited his new employer last, Raikkonen’s Thursday seat fitting was the first time he’d properly got behind the wheel of a Formula One machine since bidding adieu to his Ferrari at 2009’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“The last time I was at Enstone I quickly jumped into a seat, but this is indeed the first time I have properly sat in an F1 car with a helmet on since the last race of 2009,” he explained. “It felt a bit odd at first because the cockpit seems a bit small, but that’s normal.

"It’s just like in the past when I have done seat fittings - it feels a bit strange when you first step into the car but you quickly adjust. You spend so much time sitting in the car so the position is really crucial, it needs to be 100 percent right.

"I’d rather spend a lot of time getting it right at this time of the year because there are many races in the season and you sit behind the wheel a lot. Getting it right the first time is imperative. It will be nice to get back to racing.”

Raikkonen, and new team mate Romain Grosjean, are expected to begin testing at the opening session of the winter schedule, which will take place at the Spanish circuit of Jerez from February 7-9.

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