Fernando Alonso says he is ready and raring to do battle with the man he replaced at Ferrari when Kimi Raikkonen returns to the grid next season.
Raikkonen left the Scuderia
ahead of schedule at the end of 2009 with Alonso coming in as his replacement before spending two seasons competing in the World Rally Championship.
However, the Finn will return to the grid in 2012 after inking a deal with Lotus to make a comeback and Alonso said he was looking forward to locking horns again with another championship winning driver.
"I welcome him back,” he said. “He's a great driver. He's one of the drivers with the biggest talent on the grid, a World Champion, a wonderful person - it's going to be a pleasure to race alongside him.
"I'm not comparing him with anyone, but it's not the same to start a race and get to the first corner and have Kimi Raikkonen alongside you than having a young driver or a rookie. Fighting with Champions like this gives you a different feeling and more security."