The Enstone-based Lotus Renault GP team today announced that Kimi Räikkönen would race for the team next season.

The 2007 World Champion, who left Formula 1 at the end of 2009 to pursue a career in rallying, has decided to make a comeback at the pinnacle of single-seater racing.

The Finn has signed a two-year agreement with Lotus Renault GP.

Räikkönen, 32, said: “I’m delighted to be coming back to Formula 1 after a two-year break, and I’m grateful to Lotus Renault GP for offering me this opportunity.

"My time in the World Rally Championship has been a useful stage in my career as a driver, but I can’t deny the fact that my hunger for F1 has recently become overwhelming.

"It was an easy choice to return with Lotus Renault GP as I have been impressed by the scope of the team’s ambition. Now I’m looking forward to playing an important role in pushing the team to the very front of the grid.”

His F1 roll of honour includes 18 wins, 62 podiums and 16 pole positions.