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Raikkonen to keep rallying with own team in 2011

Kimi Raikkonen has ended speculation about his motor racing career by signing up for another season of the world rally championship (WRC).

After talks about a possible return to F1 broke down, and then the death of his father Matti two days before Christmas, rumours had suggested F1’s 2007 world champion might hang up his helmet.

Having made his debut with Citroen’s junior team in 2010, the 31-year-old Finn has now formed his own team called ICE 1 Racing to run a Citroen DS3 WRC.

L’Equipe in France said the team is funded by Raikkonen’s own sponsors.

The WRC confirmed that his entry for the opening Swedish rally was received “shortly” before this week’s deadline.

L’Equipe said Raikkonen’s has committed to 10 of the 13 rallies in 2011.

“With Kimi’s limited experience, it may be better to do additional testing while the others are competing,” his manager Steve Robertson told Finland’s Turun Sanomat.

The 2011 season begins in mid February.

Raikkonen told the official WRC website that he considered returning to F1 this year.

“Of course I thought about it, because you think about everything,” he said.  “But I never really thought seriously about it, because actually I didn’t miss formula one at all this season.”