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Raikkonen takes to track in Valencia

ESPNF1 Staff
January 23, 2012 « Ecclestone hopes for close title fight | McLaren needs Hamilton back - Paffett »
Kimi Raikkonen will partner Romain Grosjean at Lotus this season © Lotus F1 Team
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Kimi Raikkonen has taken to the track in Valencia in his first appearance in a Formula One car for over two years.

After Raikkonen was announced as a Lotus driver for the 2012 season the team confirmed it would give him an opportunity to reacclimatise to an F1 car before the first test. Today he's driving a 2010 Renault R30 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with the car painted in the 2011 Lotus Renault livery.

Raikkonen told Sky Sports News that it wouldn't take him long to get back up to speed, but that the new tyres would be the biggest challenge.

"Of course it takes a little bit of time to get used to it," Raikkonen said. "But the main bits of driving - braking, turning, the normal things - don't take many laps. But learning about the car, the team and the tyres will take time."

While a testing ban means Raikkonen cannot run the current car, the rules allow teams to run two-year old machinery on Pirelli's demonstration tyres. Director of motorsport Paul Hembery confirmed to ESPNF1 that the tyres used in this test will not give Raikkonen any advantage in understanding the new rubber.

"It's not going to help him much at all, not really," Hembery said. "They're a different profile, different strength; it's a running profile tyre so it's not going to help him too much."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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