Kimi Raikkonen insists that staying with Lotus was an obvious choice after the team confirmed the Finn will remain for a second season in 2013.
Raikkonen joined the team for his F1 comeback this season on a two-year deal, the second of which was on an option based on certain criteria being achieved this season.
With the 33-year-old having impressed so far, with six podium finishes helping him to sit third in the standings, there is little surprise that he will stay with the Enstone-based squad next year with the Finn saying his focus now was to help the team make further progress in 2013.
“I think my return to Formula 1 has gone pretty well and the team has done a very good job all year so far,” he said. “To be honest, I didn't expect to be fighting for the Drivers' Championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011, so it has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis.
“I feel very comfortable with Lotus F1 Team and we share the same philosophy of racing. Continuing with the team was an obvious choice for me and I'm looking forward to making another step forward together next year.”
Team boss Eric Boullier was also delighted to be able to confirm that the 2007 champion will be back in Lotus colours again next season.
“Kimi has made an exceptional comeback to Formula 1,” he said. “From the first time he sat in the car this year it was clear he had lost none of his pace or technical feedback and we have been rewarded by a focused and motivated driver all season.
“For Lotus F1 Team to be fighting for such strong championship positions this year is in no small part attributed to Kimi's talent and experience of racing. It was a natural conclusion for us to confirm that we will be harnessing his abilities for next season.”