Kimi Raikkonen says he can't wait to get back behind the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car following the announcement that he will return to the team for the 2014 season.
The Finn, who drove for the team from 2007 to 2009, will partner Fernando Alonso next year having agreed terms on a two-year deal to replace Felipe Massa.
The partnership between Raikkonen and Alonso is set to be one of the strongest in the field, although it remains to be seen how the pair are able to work together given neither is likely to be handed number one status.
Speaking to the Ferrari website, Raikkonen was full of praise for his new team-mate and said he couldn't wait to return to action in a Ferrari for the first time since leaving ahead of schedule in 2009 – ironically to be replaced by Alonso.
“I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” he said. “I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.
“I can't wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.”
Team boss Stefano Domenicali meanwhile said he was delighted to be able to welcome Raikkonen back into the Ferrari fold.
“I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his World Championship title,” he said. “I sense he is very happy to be returning to Maranello and very determined to tackle the work that awaits him in the best way possible.”