Kimi Raikkonen has said the reason he decided to return to F1 with Lotus Renault GP is because he was increasingly missing racing against other drivers.
Raikkonen quit the sport at the end of 2009 and since then has spent two years competing in the World Rally Championship, his best result coming in Turkey last year, when he was fifth.
However this year he also took in a couple of NASCAR events and that reawakened his desire for F1.
“I never really lost the passion for racing in F1, just maybe for all the other things around it,” explained the F1 2007 world champion, when asked why he has opted to comeback to single-seaters.
“But when I did some NASCAR races this year I noticed that I was increasingly missing the racing side – to race against each other – because in rallying you really race against the clock.
“And then I got the call from certain people in F1. All sorts of things happened and we managed to have a nice conversation with Lotus Renault GP and make a deal – I'm really very happy with that!”
Asked about his motivation, something he has been criticised for in the past, Raikkonen was adamant he is fully committed to making a success of his return.
“I would not have come back if I wasn't motivated. There is always a lot of talk about motivation but nobody really knows what I do or what I think apart from myself so I don't really care about what people say.
“But I'm happy to be coming back. I wouldn't put my name onto a contract if I didn't think I'd really enjoy it – so it will be interesting and exciting to get back!” he concluded.