Lotus pushing Raikkonen for quick decision on 2014

Kimi Raikkonen besieged by media at Silverstone

Kimi Raikkonen besieged by media at Silverstone

Lotus are pushing Kimi Raikkonen to make a quick decision over his future, as they intend to plan for a future with or without him.

The 2007 world champion has admitted that “small talks” with Red Bull have already taken place, but both Raikkonen and his potential 2014 boss Christian Horner are saying they are in no rush to finalise a deal.

A different message is now emerging from Lotus.

“He (Raikkonen) knows that we need to plan ahead for 2014,” team boss Eric Boullier told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“We assume that before the summer break he will decide whether he is staying or not,” the Frenchman added.

Far from issuing a ‘take it or leave it’ ultimatum, however, Boullier is arguing strongly that Lotus – with a new 35 per cent co-owner and therefore solid financial backing – is the right place for introvert Raikkonen, who despises most non-racing aspects of Formula 1.

“We are fighting hard to keep Kimi,” he said. “We’ll do everything in our power. Personally, I’m absolutely convinced that he’ll be in our car next year.”

Bild correspondents Nicola Pohl and Helmut Uhl said that Red Bull can surely offer the Finn more money and probably a faster car, but for the reticent and already very wealthy Raikkonen, that might not be everything.

“Kimi is not for sale,” Boullier insisted. “He doesn’t need more money, so Red Bull can’t just buy him.

“I know what goes on in his head and money does not play the most important role. We’ve built our team around him, and what he needs.

“He likes the people here, the engineers, the management. Kimi loves his freedom more than anything else, and unlike any other team he gets that here in combination with a good car.”

Boullier therefore questioned whether Red Bull is the right place for Raikkonen.

“First, Red Bull is built completely around Sebastian Vettel. Kimi will have to slot in behind the guy who has given them three world championships. “The other thing is that he has to do a lot less PR days with us, compared to at least 20 or 30 at Red Bull. That’s why he’s happy here,” the Frenchman added.

“Kimi wants to beat Vettel, but not at any price,” Boullier said. “All I can do is put the arguments in favour of Lotus on the table for him.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • =El Presidente=

    Boullier is right though, I agree that Kimi would only play the 2nd fiddle when he moves to RB.
    And personally i like Kimi more as the underdog, instead of “Vettels dog”

  • dikkop

    You know people that without Perez, Kimi would still be 2nd in the standings. I could see him champion with Lotus this year. If he does he will not leave to put his number 1 on another car in 2014. Like Jenson did when he moved to Mclaren (his decision could be understanded because of the uncertain future of BrawnGP and struggles Mercedes had, but it’s also taking the number 1 away from the mechanics and all the other staff who worked their asses off to get you to this title)