Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen has hinted moving to Red Bull could be an option for 2014 and admits the attention has been flattering.
Rumours are swirling in the Shanghai paddock that the Finn, who is Sebastian Vettel’s closest friend in Formula 1, has been earmarked as the successor to Mark Webber.
“There is so much talk that I’ve agreed a contract for next season,” Raikkonen exclaimed to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag.
“First I’m trying my best at Lotus, then I’ll think about my future. It is of course flattering, what Red Bull have said, but why is there all this talk if there is nothing (signed) on paper?” the 2007 world champion added.
The answer, of course, is that given Red Bull’s obvious interest, Raikkonen’s move would make sense.
He would work harmoniously with Vettel, and it would also be a good next move for the 33-year-old, who won 19 grands prix for McLaren and Ferrari before taking a two-year sabbatical in world rallying after the 2009 season.
“About the future, I am clear,” Raikkonen said. “I want to work with a good team and sit in a good car.
“Red Bull is a good team, they have been world champions and won everything in the past years.
“Basically, there are not many top teams to think about. With Lotus, we are not yet where Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull are.”
Speaking against the move, however, are equally-heard rumours in the paddock that Raikkonen is no longer serious about his trade: that he only returned to Formula 1 for the money.
“Do you really think I would be here if it was just about money?” Raikkonen hit back. “I do enough fun things in my spare time than to have to listen to this bullshit.
“And I’m not exactly broke,” he added.