2007 Formula One World Champion, Kimi Räikkönen, who will return to the sport in 2012 with Lotus F1, took his first test drive in a Formula 1 car, when he tested the two year old Renault R30 at Valencia on Monday 23rd January 2012.
The driver, who has been away from the sport following two seasons in World Rally Championship, told how it was “good to get finally back in a Formula 1 car.”
Because of the strict rules in Formula 1, Räikkönen won’t drive the 2012 car until the official test at Jerez in February, and is also precluded from driving the 2011 machine. However, the Lotus F1 team – newly rebranded from last year’s Renault team – were able to put the driver in a two year old car to help him get his “feel” back in advance of the test.
Speaking after the test, team officials were happy that Räikkönen, at 32 years old, had lost non of his touch for the highly engineered machines. Alan Permane of Lotus F1 told, “It was very clear we were working with a former world champion. It was a good day.”
Kimi Räikkönen will be partnered by the inexperienced Romain Grosjean in 2012 for the new look Lotus F1 stable.
Video courtesy Lotus F1 and YouTube.