Former world champion Damon Hill says that Kimi Räikkönen, who won the world championship in 2007, has the potential to win more F1 world titles.
Speaking on the Autosport website about the Finn's drive with Lotus Renault in 2012, Hill said: "It is great - and good luck to him. He is going to have to show that he has still got it, and he has got a good team in which to show that, and he is still young. He has won a world championship already, and I had only just got into F1 at his age, so he has definitely got a couple more world championships in him."
Räikkönen spent the last two seasons in a private team in the World Rally Championship where he had more fun than impressive results, but feels he has matured and is now ready to return to his first love - Formula One.
"I have been surprised at how big the reaction has been so I guess people must have missed me!" said Räikkönen on the Lotus Renault web site. "Before my two years of rallying I had nine seasons, 157 races and 18 wins in Formula 1. I know the sport well. When I went to rallying and when I tried Nascar, there were many new things to learn, but with Formula 1 I feel like I'm coming home. I can't wait to get behind the wheel."
"I am more motivated than ever and I don't think I've lost any speed," he continued. "Getting on top of the tyres will be the hardest thing, of course, but I'm not really worried. Although the technical regulations don't seem to change much, they apply to a lot of areas and quite a few elements will have to be redesigned. As a result, the cars will be significantly different next year. The order could be shaken up, which will make things very interesting."
Hill agrees, and is hoping to see a more competitive season in 2012 where more teams can challenge the supremacy of Red Bull.
"We want to see someone upset the applecart, although I think Adrian (Newey) is fantastic, and (Sebastian) Vettel, (Mark) Webber and Red Bull Racing is a great team at the front - and they seem to be fun loving," said Hill. "It is good to have that, but I know that they want to fight for it. They don't want it too easy. So a good titanic battle between three top teams would be fantastic to see."