Raikkonen: I could retire, I don’t have any contract for next year

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has refused to confirm or deny reports linking him to Red Bull for 2014, insisting even retirement remains an option should he wish.

In the wake of the Multi-21 saga, with some suspecting Mark Webber’s place alongside Sebastian Vettel is now untenable, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said 2007 world champion Raikkonen is “cool, fast and always a candidate”.

Raikkonen, 33, ran with Red Bull sponsorship in world rallying after leaving Ferrari a few years ago, returning to Formula 1 with Lotus in 2012 and showing impressive form.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko echoed Mateschitz’s comments about Raikkonen on Wednesday when he admitted the Finn “is someone who is on our list for next year”.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne

But when asked if he has already turned his attention to the end of his current contract and 2014, Raikkonen insisted: “I have not.

“I could even retire,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper. “I don’t have any contract – nothing – for next year. “I am focusing on now.”

Well-connected paddock sources insist that Red Bull must at least be considering replacing Webber for 2014.

Raikkonen and Vettel are good friends, which according to Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt could make a big difference, given the likely venom of the continuing Webber-Vettel relationship.

Sebastian Vettel versus Kimi Raikkonen

Sebastian Vettel versus Kimi Raikkonen

The respected journalist is quoted by  Turun Sanomat, “Vettel and Webber’s relationship will never be the same.

“Vettel has apologised, but really that was just for the public. Deep down, he knows the importance of those seven points.”

“It is the difference between the champion and the normal racing driver. Champions think only of themselves.”

Vettel’s former trainer Tommi Parmakoski agrees: “The first thing is that everyone needs to follow their team boss.

“But on the other hand, knowing Sebastian as well as I do, he has this unbridled desire to win. It is the fundamental reason why he has won so much and endured the toughest pressures.” (GMM)

  • hillside

    Kimi has a character that what F1 needs now. the F1 grid is full of lame softy drivers

  • M451

    If he does join Red Bull, he will undoubtedly be a championship contender next year, and show the comparison between Vettel and other drivers on the grid in the same car. But 2 drivers with that kind of character in one team may not end well…

  • mightyk

    “Leave me alone, I know what i’m doing”….@ Red Bull !?!?!?!
    They already have ‘that guy’. Kimi’s too calculated to get involved with that team.

  • mike kemp

    I just really enjoy Kimi’s ultra-realist attitude: (paraphrasing, as I hear him) “I don’t care about any of the three-ring circus; bring me the car, working, and I will race the hell out of it!” Refreshing.

  • Roland Mez

    Re: Chinese Q-2 Qualifying
    It looks like RBR has found a new way of stacking the odds for or against their drivers under the guise of “technical problems”.
    The Bowser malfunction excuse is total “B.S” since both cars were
    fueled in a relatively short interval for presumably equal amounts.
    Fake pit stop malfunctions are another easy and hard to prove
    alternatives to help or hinder the drivers.
    P.S. Good Luck Mark bring that fair dinkum okker Aussie no drinking with the flies not coming down with the last rain attitude
    to the surface and give them HELL!!!

    R.P.M.

  • Cindy Leija

    Kimi going to Red Bull will be awesome and I think kimi doesn’t care if he is number 2 driver. He is all about racing and if this guys finish in top 3 all other teams are going to have problems catching red bull. It’s all about being talented and how to drive a car.