Lotus: 'Kimi will stay'
WHAT MAKES THE ICEMAN HAPPY? Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen's future for 2014 is still a hot topic and undecided. The team hopes he will stay but the Iceman says he will stay where all the things are as he wants them to be. Image: AFP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Lotus expects to finalise an investment deal and is confident Kimi Raikkonen will stay with the team for the 2014 season, according to team principal Eric Boullier.
He told reporters after Sunday's Belgian GP: "Yes, I am (confident). He loves this team. He likes to be here and he likes the environment. I understand he needs to be reassured about the strength of the team financially, the technical challenge we have to face for 2014... it's normal."
He said he expected new investment, announced earlier in June, to be finalised by the 2013 Italian GP (Sept 8) to put the team on a secure footing.
Raikkonen, 2007 World champion who will be out-of-contract at the end of the 2013 and has been linked to other top teams, indicated at Spa that his salary had not been fully paid and Lotus knew what had to be resolved before any talks could begin.
Boullier said Raikkonen's issues were being addressed. "They are solvable if we can put in place the package we want."
Lotus announced in June 2013 that a consortium of private investors, among them an American hedge-fund manager and an Abu Dhabi multinational business group, had acquired a 35% stake.
'FINE FOR ME'
However, owner Gerard Lopez subsequently revealed the deal had not been finalised. "We are still working on it but I think we solved most of the issues now and so we expect to get the deal completely done before Monza."
Raikkonen said: "I've always said I have a very good team here, but things have to be right in all areas. As long as I get a place where all the things are as I want them to be... then that is fine for me."
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