In a video interview released by his new Lotus Renault GP team (BELOW) Kimi Raikkonen says there are is no question about his motivation ahead of his return to Formula 1 with the Lotus Renault team next year.
The Finn left the sport at the end of 2009 to compete in the World Rally Championship for the past two seasons, but has now secured a two-year deal with the team to return to grand prix racing in 2012. Raikkonen, a World Champion with Ferrari in 2007, says he would not have returned to Formula 1 if his motivation was not high.
"I wouldn't have come back if I wasn't motivated," said Raikkonen. "There is always a lot of talk about the motivation but nobody really knows what I do or what I think except for myself, so I don't really care about what people say.
"I wouldn't put my name in a contract if I didn't think I'd enjoy it. It will be interesting."
The 32-year-old insisted he never stopped enjoying racing in Formula 1, but rather other things away from the racetrack. Raikkonen said his two outings in NASCAR made him realize how much he was missing racing against other drivers.
"I never really lost the passion in racing in Formula 1, but maybe all the things around it," he said. "I did some NASCAR races earlier this year and I started to miss the racing more and more and racing against each other, because in rallying it's against the clock, really. That's what I was missing.
"I got the call from certain people in Formula 1 and certain things happened and then we managed to have a nice conversation with Lotus Renault and ended up making a deal with them, so I'm very happy with that."
The Finn was also in talks with Williams before signing his Renault deal, but said things worked out better with the latter.
"There were two options," he said. "It was either this team or Williams and, in the end, everything worked out with Lotus Renault as we wanted, so that's really the reason [to have chosen Renault]."