Motor racing-Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen


LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Factbox on Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen, whose return to Ferrari in a two-year deal was announced on Wednesday:

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Age: 33 (born on Oct. 17, 1979 in Espoo, Finland)

* Began go-karting aged 11 and entered the British Formula Renault series in 1999. He was champion the following year with seven wins from 10 races.

* Sauber signed him at the end of 2000, despite his lack of experience. Then-FIA president Max Mosley was one of the doubters, only reluctantly handing him a Formula One superlicence after Sauber pleaded his case.

* Raikkonen scored a point on his debut in Australia in 2001. By the end of that season he had scored nine points and been signed by McLaren to replace compatriot Mika Hakkinen.

* Dubbed 'Ice Man' by McLaren team boss Ron Dennis for his calmness under pressure, he pushed Ferrari's Michael Schumacher all the way in 2003 but missed out on the championship by two points. He now has 'Iceman' tattooed on his forearm.

* The Finn was runner-up to Renault's Fernando Alonso in 2005, winning as many races (seven) as his Spanish rival. On Sept 10, 2006, Ferrari announced he had been signed to replace seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

* World champion in 2007, beating Hamilton and Alonso by a single point after winning three of the last four races in a stunning turnaround.

* Third in the 2008 championship and eclipsed by team mate Felipe Massa. At the end of 2009, after winning just one race, he was paid off for the remaining year of his contract and replaced by Alonso. The Finn then spent the next two years in world rallying and NASCAR.

* Returned to F1 with Lotus in 2012 and made an instant impression, ending the year third overall. Until this year's Belgian Grand Prix, he had racked up a record 27 races in a row in the points. Raikkonen also won the 2013 season-opener in Australia.

* Sept. 11. Ferrari announce Raikkonen's return as replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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