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Hot Kimi: Can Lotus afford him?

2013-04-19 09:43

THE ICEMAN STAYETH? Will Kimi Raikkonen stay with Lotus for 2014 or will he warm to the attention of other teams? Image: AFP

MANAMA, Bahrain - Kimi Raikkonen is moving closer to committing to Lotus for the 2014 F1 season, according to team boss Eric Boullier.

The Frenchman was playing down reports that Red Bull had expressed interest in signing the 2007 World champion to replace Mark Webber in 2014.


Boullier told Germany's Bild newspaper: "These are the usual games - it's not just Red Bull, other top teams have interest too - but I'm also interested in (Fernando) Alonso, (Lewis) Hamilton and (Sebastian) Vettel, although only Vettel if he listens to my team orders," he laughed.

"We've already spoken to Kimi about a contract extension and he sounded very happy."

In truth, however, with Finn Raikkonen's stock on the rise after impressive form since his World Rally sabbatical, Lotus might struggle to afford the 33-year-old for 2014. It is reported that team owner Genii has put a part of the team on the market, with Gerard Lopez admitting it might be some time before a title sponsor is signed.


Asked if money would factor into Raikkonen's decision, Boullier said: "Kimi doesn't race for the money. For him it's very important that he feels at home and has the freedom to be who he is.  I really see no reason why he should leave.

"I don't know if other teams would treat him as well as we do - and we can definitely afford him."

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