Kimi Raikkonen believes he can make another step forward with Lotus in 2013 after re-signing with the team. He said it was "the obvious choice" to remain with the Enstone-based marque following a successful return to Formula One this season after a two-year break.
The 33-year-old Finn has been pleasantly surprised to be fighting for podiums this season, claiming six so far, although he has yet to claim a victory, and figuring in the title hunt. Raikkonen is third in the drivers' standings, 67 points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, with 75 still to contest.
"I didn't expect to be fighting for the drivers' championship this season when you look at where the team was in 2011," he said. "It has been great to be on the podium so many times and to score points on a regular basis. I feel very comfortable with Lotus and we share the same philosophy of racing. Continuing with the team was an obvious choice for me."
Eric Boullier, the team principal, said following Sunday's Indian Grand Prix that a driver announcement was imminent but only Raikkonen's contract has been confirmed, with no word yet on the future of Romain Grosjean who has been involved in a number of first-corner incidents this season to blot his copybook.
The four Scots at the British Cycling Academy – effectively the under 23 Great Britain squad – have all retained their places for next year, writes Colin Renton. John Paul, the new Scottish sprint and Keirin champion, will have a second season on the track programme, while Callum Skinner, the 20-year-old British senior sprint champion and a medallist at the European Track Championships this month, has been allocated a spot for a third year. Kenta Gallagher will spend his third season with the mountain bike squad and will be joined by Grant Ferguson, who has just completed a successful first season on the programme.
Todd Dutiaume, the Fife Flyers playcaller, takes his squad to the home of the Elite League champions Belfast tonight (7.30pm) determined to turn around their miserable recent form following four consecutive defeats, writes Nigel Duncan.
They go into the contest, which also counts towards the Challenge Cup, on the back of Sunday's 5-3 home defeat to Nottingham Panthers, in which they led 2-1 after 17 minutes. Belfast are on a high after a 3-0 home win over second-placed Sheffield Steelers on Saturday.
Dutiaume said: "Sure we're disappointed at Sunday's performance. We played okay but okay is not good enough in this league. Playing okay usually means you lose and we want to be winners."
The experienced Canadian cannot understand why Fife played so well in the opening session and were a different team after the first break. "They couldn't touch us in that first period," he said. "We came out flat in the second." Only Belfast (3-1) and now Nottingham, two of Britain's top clubs, have so far beaten Fife at home but it is a different story away from the Fife Ice Arena; Flyers have only won once, 4-2 at Edinburgh Capitals.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Capitals are at Nottingham tonight (7.30) bidding to reverse Saturday's 5-0 home loss to the same side.
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