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Ferrari have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will replace Felipe Massa from the start of next season after agreeing a two-year deal.
Raikkonen has been heavily linked with a return to Ferrari over the last few weeks and the Italian team has now confirmed the news in a statement.
“Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement with Kimi Raikkonen,” read a statement on ferrari.com. “The Finn will join alongside Fernando Alonso in the driver line-up for the next two seasons.”
The 33-year-old, who had also been linked with a move to Red Bull, returns to Ferrari after winning the title with them in 2007, and will form a strong partnership with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
Raikkonen left Ferrari in 2009 to take up a new challenge in rallying but has impressed since returning to F1 with Lotus at the start of 2012.
Lotus themselves will step up their search for a new driver to replace Raikkonen and are expected to target Sauber’s German driver Nico Hulkenburg.
Meanwhile, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has also paid tribute to the departing Massa, who has spent the last eight years with the team.
“I want to thank Felipe with all my heart, on behalf of our fans around the world, for the extraordinary work he has done for the team in all these years,” he said in a statement.
“Felipe has always behaved like a team man, we have experienced many dramatic and beautiful moments that have created a truly unique human and professional relationship.
“He will always be part of our family.”