Lotus say Raikkonen very happy with 2014 contract talks
19 April, 2013
Kimi Raikkonen is heading closer to committing to Lotus for the 2014 season despite overtures from Red Bull, according to team boss Eric Boullier.
The Frenchman was playing down reports Red Bull has expressed interest in signing the 2007 world champion to replace Mark Webber next year.
“These are the usual games,” Boullier told Bild newspaper, “but it’s not just Red Bull. Other top teams have interest too.”
“But I’m also interested in Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, although only Vettel if he listens to my team orders,” he laughed. ”We have already spoken with Kimi about a contract extension and he sounded very happy.”
In truth, however, with Finn Raikkonen’s stock on the rise after impressive form in the wake of his rallying sabbatical, Lotus might struggle to afford the 33-year-old for 2014.
It is reported that team owner Genii has put a part of the Enstone based team on the market, with Gerard Lopez admitting it might be some time before a title sponsor is signed up.
Asked if money will factor into Raikkonen’s decision, Boullier said: “Kimi doesn’t race for the money.
“For him it’s very important that he feels at home and has the freedom to be who he is. So I really see no reason why he should leave. I don’t know if other teams would treat him as well as we do. We can definitely afford him,” he insisted.
“We have more money than last year,” added Boullier. (GMM)