Kimi Raikkonen has visited Ferrari’s base at Maranello ahead of his return to the team for the 2014 Formula One season.
The Finn will return to the Italian marque after enjoying three seasons in Maranello between 2007 and 2009, winning the drivers’ world championship during his first year with the team. However, the relationship between Raikkonen and the Ferrari management turned sour towards the end of 2009, leading the team to pay off the remainder of his contract so he could leave and make way for the incoming Fernando Alonso.
Raikkonen walked away from Formula One in favor of rallying, but the Finn returned in 2012 with Lotus and has enjoyed some success, claiming two race wins and a number of podium finishes. He had appeared to be enjoying the team’s more relaxed approach to PR, giving him a great deal of freedom. However, the team has encountered financial difficulties that has seen Raikkonen go unpaid, forcing him to look for a seat at another team. After missing out on his preferred destination, Red Bull, to Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, it was confirmed that he would be returning to Ferrari as a replacement for Felipe Massa.
Raikkonen returned to Maranello yesterday for a seat fitting and a meeting with team principal Stefano Domenicali. Despite still being under contract with Lotus, it is thought that Raikkonen has been given permission to meet with the team in order to ensure that he has no problems fitting into the newly-designed 2014 car.
The Finn had threatened to walk away from Lotus before the end of the season if he is not paid, but a compromise appears to have been reached that will see him race at Austin and Interlagos.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.