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Lotus - 'Most desirable F1 team'?

2013-09-12 09:14

ALAN BALDWIN

‘IT HURTS A LITTLE BIT’: Lotus’ feelings were obviously hurt by the announcement of Kimi Raikkonen’s exit prompting the following tweet pictured here. Image: Lotus

Lotus says it can take its time in naming a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen ... 'we have the most sought-after  vacancy". It also poked fun at Raikkonen's exit with an illustrated tweet stating "it hurts a little bit".

LONDON, England - Lotus can take its time in naming a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen because it's now the Formula 1 team with the most sought-after driver vacancy. That's team principal Eric Boullier's view, anyway...

Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari have finalised their 2014 drivers: Ferrari announced Raikkonen had signed a two-year deal to replace Felipe Massa.

Lotus is the fourth most-competitive team so far in 2013.

'MOST DESIRABLE TEAM'

Boullier said: "We are in discussions with a few people and will make a decision soon. We are in the privileged position of being the most desirable team on the grid with a seat available so in no rush to announce anybody without establishing what will be the best for our team and the future."

Nico Hulkenberg, a Sauber driver tipped to join Ferrari when it seemed Raikkonen could be headed for Red Bull, could join Lotus; the deposed Massa is another option.

Boullier said there was no bitterness about Raikkonen's decision to join Ferrari: "Two years ago, when we decided to sign him, quite a few people thought we were crazy. What happened in the end? We've been working with an amazing racer who scored points for the team 27 times in a row, won two races, put motivation at a very high level and got on very well with his team mate.

"Now it's time to think about the future. We remain a medium-sized team and there are some areas in which we're not yet in a position to fight against the top teams."

LOTUS CAN BE SARCASTIC?

Lotus greeted Ferrari's announcement with a tweet: "So #Kimi is off to #Ferrari for 2014; it hurts a little bit..." along with an image of two rabbits mating.

Understandably the tweet sparked a huge response from its fans.

Lotus sought to defuse situation with a follow-up tweet: “Wow, what a reaction! Thank you and if that one came as a bit of a shock, sorry. We’ll be sure to warn you next time.” The tweet was accompanied with an image reading: “Advisory: Explicit content”.

FIA spokesman Pierre Regent said: "We spoke to Lotus and they assured us that no offence was intended."
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