Raikkonen drives 2010 Renault in private F1 test

Kimi raikkonen leaves the pits in the Renault R30 during his private Valencia test

Jan.23 (PVM) After two years in the wilderness, Kimi Raikkonen returned to the cockpit of an F1 car when he tested the 2012 Renault R30 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia today.

Kimi gets ready

The private test was part of a programme to dial the 2007 Formula 1 world champion back in ahead of official pre-season testing which begins on 7 February in Jerez.

Raikkonen last drove an F1 car in his final grand prix in November 2009 in Abu Dhabi, where he finished twelfth.

Shortly after signing for Lotus, Raikkonen said: “Understand the behaviour of the [Pirelli tyres] will be the hardest part of my return to F1, but not something I really worry about.”

With testing prohibited by FIA rules, Raikkonen had only the option of running a two year old chassis on last year’s Pirelli tyre

Following the rules imposed by FIA, the pilots can only walk in circuits – excluding tests in a straight line – out of collective testing in promotional events or the way that Raikkonen is running with a car two years ago and Pirelli demonstration.

Lotus have released these photos which show Raikkonen during the course of the test, sporting a new helmet design featuring a white top with black and red ‘Iceman’ style flashes along the sides.

Raikkonen is scheduled to spend two days testing.

Kimi in the cockpit of the R30