The 2007 Formula 1 world champion made an ‘announcement’ 12 days ago on his 33rd birthday with the creative use of a video on youtube.
While entertaining, it wasn’t the announcement that many in F1 expected. It was confirmed today, however, that the Finn will remain with Lotus F1 for one more season in 2013.
There have been rumors of the team’s (formerly known as Renault and Benetton before that) owners Genii Capital are running a little light in their wallets and as a result, the team may not be as competitive as it was in the early stages of this season.
Given Raikkonen’s superlative comeback this year (third in the championship with six podiums) a one year extension indicates that the Finn doesn’t see his long-term future with Lotus F1. Whether its because he harbours ambitions to be back in a championship contending team from 2014 or due to Genii’s supposed financial difficulties will remain to be seen.
The upheaval in this year’s drivers’ market has all but died down – an announcement regarding Hulkenberg and maybe even Adrian Sutil could be likely – and Raikkonen was pretty much left out.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is the other top driver who got a one-year contract extension this year. It’s not too far a stretch to speculate about a return to Ferrari for the Finn, but let’s leave that one for official announcements.