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'The order could be shaken up in 2012' - Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen reckons regulation changes could shake up the order when he makes his return to Formula One next year.
Raikkonen will drive for Renault (soon to be renamed Lotus) in 2012 after two years competing in the World Rally Championship. His comeback coincides with some relatively small changes to the regulations, mainly regarding exhaust positioning, but Raikkonen is hoping they will make a significant difference.
"Although the technical regulations don't seem to change much, they apply to a lot of areas and quite a few elements will have to be re-designed," he told Renault's official website. "As a result, the cars will be significantly different next year. The order could be shaken up, which will make things very interesting."
Raikkonen added: "I am more motivated than ever and I don't think I've lost any speed. Getting on top of the tyres will be the hardest thing, of course, but I'm not really worried."
Raikkonen said he will be training hard over the Christmas break and revealed that he plans to test a 2009-spec Renault in January in order to prepare for the first official pre-season test in early February.
"We don't test the new car until February so it's a long wait," he said. "However, I should be able to jump into a two-year-old F1 car in January. Of course, there will be the usual training, but I will also be working on getting to know the team better and making sure I fully understand all the changes since I have been away."
And Raikkonen played down his recent snowmobile accident in Austria.
"I was surprised by how much attention there was over me falling off a snowmobile," he added. "You can watch what happened on YouTube and it was probably the smallest and slowest crash I've ever had. It is almost embarrassing! I won a snowmobile race right before the start of the 2007 season and that year didn't go badly for me so who knows?"