Kimi nonchalant about team loss

2013-05-10 08:02

BARCELONA, Spain - Kimi Raikkonen has played down any setback to his Formula 1 championship hopes because of the departure of Lotus technical director James Allison.

The 2007 champion, second in the standings after four of the 19 races, said: "For me it doesn't really make a difference. I cannot tell if it will make a difference in one week or in one year, or if it won't make a difference at all. It's not like it suddenly happened one day, it's not like we woke up and it's different to what it was when we went to sleep."


Lotus announced on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that the highly-rated Allison was leaving and had been replaced internally by engineering director Nick Chester.

The move was seen as a blow to Raikkonen, coming on the eve of the first race of the European season and at a time of intense development before teams begin to switch their focus to the 2014 cars.

Allison has been linked to most of the top teams, but particularly Ferrari, in paddock speculation. The Briton worked for Ferrari during the years of dominance with Michael Schumacher and was then at Renault - the team that is now Lotus - when Ferrari's current driver Fernando Alonso won his two titles there in 2005 and 2006.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said that the speculation was no more than just a rumour, while Alonso was non-committal about what he thought.

Alonso, when asked how highly he rated Allison and whether he wanted to work with him again, said: "I don't really have an opinion on that. He will chose what he prefers, he may chose to stay at home but I don't know. We just know the news from yesterday and we don't have any more news."

Alonso also pointed out that Allison was at Renault with him in the 2008 and 2009 seasons when the car was less successful.

"But we saw the Lotus car in the last two years and it's no secret that he's one of the top men here and we will see what future he has," added the double champion.

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