Iceman Raikkonen silences doubters
November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Kimi Raikkonen's last grand prix win prior to Sunday's Abu Dhabi triumph was in Belgium in 2009.
- Kimi Raikkonen plays down his win at Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- The win was the Finn's first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix
- Raikkonen won the world championship with Ferrari in 2007
- The 33-year-old is third in the 2012 drivers' standings with 198 points
(CNN) -- Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen stormed to a red-hot Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory on Sunday, but the ice-cool Finn refused to get carried away following his first Formula One win in over three years.
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel and archrival Fernando Alonso were both vying for points in the race for the drivers' title, but it was the 2007 world champion Raikkonen who finally delivered the grand prix win his 2012 form had threatened.
The former Ferrari driver, who left the sport in 2009 and spent time in NASCAR and rally before returning to F1 with Lotus at the start of this season, admitted it was satisfying to prove he could still cut it at the front of the grid.
"To be honest it's just another win on the list for me," the 33-year-old told the sport's official website following the 19th win of his career and his first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
F1 champ Sebastian Vettel talks to CNN
India's F1 story
Latest F1 standings after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Raikkonen has quickly readjusted to life in the cockpit. He sits third in the drivers' championship behind Red Bull's Vettel and Alonso of Ferrari having registered six podium finishes prior to his triumph at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Raikkonen made his F1 debut in 2001 and is a veteran of 154 races starts. Despite his wealth of experience, the one-time McLaren driver admitted it was good to silence those who questioned whether his best days were behind him.
"It's great of course, because it's been a few years, but the wins prior to this one were very similar," he continued. "We didn't have the best car, but we fought and still won.
"It's great to win now, so people will stop asking me if I can win or not, and at least it makes it a bit clearer!"
However Raikkonen knows a poor performance at the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix on November 17 will render his exploits in Abu Dhabi meaningless in the eyes of his critics.
"I never cared really what people think," he said. "If I don't finish the next race, then they'll think that I'm as bad as that race.
"I'll just do my thing, and if I'm happy with what I'm doing and it's the best it can be for the team, then that's that. So I really don't care if people are thinking differently of me now, than what they did three hours before the race."
Part of complete coverage on
Track the new Formula One season as it progresses, circuit by circuit, race by race.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Can the new F1 season live up to last year's standards? Find out the need-to-know stories for 2013.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1148 GMT (1948 HKT)
CNN looks ahead to the Australian Grand Prix, the first F1 race of the 2013 season.
February 28, 2013 -- Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
Adrian Sutil will be Force India's second driver for the 2013 Formula One season, pledging to make the most of his "second chance".
March 2, 2013 -- Updated 0152 GMT (0952 HKT)
Christmas Abbott, 5'3 and 115 pounds, is the first woman to join a NASCAR pit crew team.
February 12, 2013 -- Updated 0035 GMT (0835 HKT)
The first race in Melbourne is just around the corner and Formula 1 teams are gearing up for a season which promises to be as technical as it is tactical.
March 1, 2013 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
When the new Formula 1 season gets underway in March, for the first time there will be a woman running a team's entire operations from track to boardroom.
January 21, 2013 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
The Dakar Rally is one of the world's most dangerous motorsport races, and this year's edition has already been marred by tragic deaths.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1920 GMT (0320 HKT)
The famous circuit of Nurburgring is confirmed Thursday as the venue for the 2013 German Grand Prix after reaching a deal with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.
November 27, 2012 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
It did not take very long for the inevitable question to be asked -- just how good a driver is Sebastian Vettel?
January 24, 2013 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
Changes to tires will make Formula 1 racing faster with more overtaking in 2013, according to the sport's official tire supplier Pirelli.
November 26, 2012 -- Updated 0935 GMT (1735 HKT)
Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, and contemporary pacesetters Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were all contenders.
November 23, 2012 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time? Past and present drivers give their verdict on the contenders to CNN.
CNN has asked Formula One stars past and present, "Who is the best driver of all time?" Now we want to hear from you.
November 20, 2012 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
A triumphant Lewis Hamilton called Sunday's United States Grand Prix the best race of 2012 but for many it was more important than that -- it was Formula One being reborn in the USA.
CNN's Ben Wyatt says Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso will seal their place in F1 history in Brazil this weekend.
November 25, 2012 -- Updated 1941 GMT (0341 HKT)
The F1 title race will be fought over 20 races this season. Keep track of the latest standings in the drivers' and manufacturers' championships.
November 16, 2012 -- Updated 1520 GMT (2320 HKT)
Mario Andretti says the key to rekindling F1 in the U.S. is a buzzword that has been flying around Washington faster than a Ferrari -- stability.
Today's five most popular stories