Raikkonen: Lotus knows that there are issues and until those are solved there is no point talking

23 August, 2013

Kimi Raikkonen besieged by reporters at Spa

Kimi Raikkonen besieged by reporters at Spa

Kimi Raikkonen made clear on Friday that his Lotus Formula 1 team had issues to resolve before he could have serious discussions about staying on with them for next season.

Speaking to reporters at the Belgian Grand Prix after crying off ‘sick’ on Thursday in the face of a wave of speculation about his future, Raikkonen said that he had yet to sign a contract with anyone for 2014.

“It’s the same as four weeks ago. Nothing has changed, apart from more rumours and more teams,” he said, facing a scrum of reporters in the team motorhome with his eyes shielded by sunglasses.

The 2007 world champion has been linked to Red Bull and his former teams Ferrari and McLaren by the media searching for any sign as to where the taciturn Finn might end up, while Lotus are fighting to retain his services.

Kimi Raikkonen and Eric Boullier celebrate victory in Melbourne earlier this year

Kimi Raikkonen and Eric Boullier celebrate victory in Melbourne earlier this year

Asked to comment on rumours that he had not been paid fully by the championship-challenging team, the 33-year-old replied: “For sure it’s not as it should be, but hopefully those things get sorted quickly.

“They know there are certain issues we have and until those are solved there is no point talking about next year,” he added when pressed on whether it was a concern that they were struggling to meet his wages.

“They know exactly what they have to do first, and then we are open to talk. It’s not really up to me.”

Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson said earlier in the week that the Finn would not be driving for Red Bull in 2014 but team principal Christian Horner said on Thursday that nothing should be ruled out.

The driver, who said he was fine and showed no signs of sickness, sounded no clearer about what was going on with the champions, who must replace departing Australian Mark Webber at the end of the year.

Kimi Raikkonen could still end up partnering Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next year

Kimi Raikkonen could still end up partnering Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next year

“I [have] had no answer from them. We will see what happens. You have to ask them what they will do. I don’t know any better than you guys,” he said. “We never heard anything for a while, which is not the ideal situation, but that’s how it is.”

He offered no clarification about Ferrari, the team with which he won his championship, either.

“Every year we have the same stories, the same things, and the longer the season there are more rumours until everybody has a contract,” he said.

“There must be much more interesting things to write about and tell people than the same things over and over again.”

Lotus are an attractive option to Raikkonen, who would be sure of top billing and number one status, because they have also given him room to ‘be himself’, and reduced his media commitments.

Kimi Raikkonen with Lotus co-owner Gerard Lopez

Kimi Raikkonen with Lotus co-owner Gerard Lopez

The Finn is renowned as much for his dislike of conventional sponsorship commitments as his well-documented party lifestyle and is happiest letting his driving do the talking on grand prix weekends.

“I’ve always said I have a very good team here, but things have to be right in all areas,” he said. “As long as I get a place where all the things are as I want them to be, and where everybody is happy, then that is fine for me.

“Obviously, you want as good a car as you can, but the rules will change a lot [in 2014] and it’s difficult to say which team will be the best.”

Raikkonen has also walked away from Formula 1 before, when he left Ferrari and competed in the world rally championship for two years in 2010-11.

Asked whether he had been think about options outside F1, he replied: “Not really. For sure I want to do more rallies when I can. I’m a big fan of the sport. If I don’t get a contract then I will probably do some races some time.” (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • k-15-

    Dear Genii…Pay the Kimster off in full to keep the best driver on the planet in ur corner or see some ‘raviolis’ or some ‘drinks company’ poach him..

  • Boycottthebull

    Gimme Gimme Kimi cares nothing but money money money. He only strives to win for the extra bonus. Lotus have paid him already, this is just bluff and grandstanding by him and his rock star promoter manager for more cash. Kimi you refuse to do any promotion and dont deliver results for the team. You say everything has to be as YOU want it. Its a team remember. Grosjean has proven himself quicker and cheaper and more supportive of his team and a more pleasant person. Get the Hulk or someone else to partner him and cut Gimme Gimme Kimi loose. let him drive the drink cans they can afford him. They wont get their moneys worth though he wont do any promotional work for them.

  • tod

    Boycottthebull what is wrong with you?
    I think you must be jealous of Kimi, you probably cant even drive an F1 car in a game let alone try one for real!
    Get a life!!!

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