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Lotus: 'Kimi not for sale'

2013-07-01 08:37

’HE IS NOT FOR SALE’: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen is being pressured to decide if he's staying with Lotus or joining Red Bull. Lotus says he's "not for sale". Image: AFP

SILVERSTONE, England - Lotus is pushing Kimi Raikkonen to make a decision about his future.

The 2007 World champion has admitted to having "small talks" with Red Bull but both Raikkonen and his potential 2014 boss Christian Horner say they are in no rush to finalise a deal.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said: "Raikkonen knows we need to plan for 2014. We assume that he will decide whether he is staying or not before the end of the 2013 season."


Far from issuing a "take it or leave it" ultimatum, however, Boullier is arguing strongly that Lotus - with a new 35% co-owner and therefore solid financial backing - is the right place for Raikkonen, who despises most non-racing aspects of F1.

Boullier said: "We are fighting hard to keep Kimi. We'll do everything in our power. Personally, I'm absolutely convinced that he'll be in our car in 2014."

Bild correspondents Nicola Pohl and Helmut Uhl said Red Bull could surely offer Raikkonen more money and probably a faster car but for the reticent and wealthy Raikkonen that might not be everything.


Boullier insisted: "Kimi is not for sale. He doesn't need more money, so Red Bull can't just buy him. I know what goes on in his head and money does not play the most important role."

"We've built our team around him and what he needs. He likes the people here, the engineers, the management. Kimi loves his freedom more than anything else and unlike any other team he gets that here in combination with a good car."

Boullier therefore questioned whether Red Bull was the right place for Raikkonen. "First, Red Bull is built completely around Sebastian Vettel.  Kimi will have to slot in behind the guy who has given them three World championships.

"The other thing is that he has to do a lot fewer PR days with us, compared to at least 20 or 30 at Red Bull. That's why he's happy here. Kimi wants to beat Vettel, but not at any price.

"All I can do is put the arguments in favour of Lotus on the table."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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