Lotus eager to tie Raikkonen down

Tuesday 9th July 2013

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Lotus eager to tie Raikkonen down

Lotus eager to tie Raikkonen down

Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier has confirmed that wants Kimi Raikkonen to remain with the team for another season.

Raikkonen is one of the favourites to join Red Bull next year after Mark Webber revealed that he will leave the reigning Constructors' Champions at the end of the year.

"Two years in a row we have closed the gap with Red Bull. He wants to know if we will keep going like that," Boullier told BBC Sport.

"We are in discussions about the technical package we'll have.

"He is mature enough to decide for himself what is the right thing to do.

"There are some upsides to going to Red Bull and some downsides as well."

After nine races of the 19-Grands Prix season, the Finn currently lies in third place on the Drivers' Championship, 41 points behind Sebastian Vettel but only nine behind long-time rival Fernando Alonso.

One of Raikkonen's concerns seems to be about the loss of highly rated technical director James Allison, who is set to join Ferrari.

Boullier also revealed that Lotus was late in paying the former world champion's salary, but confirmed that the Finn's wages are up to date now.

"It was paid late, yes," Boullier added.

"But it has been paid. We have to if we want to keep him."

Raikkonen has won 20 grands prix during his career and will be a fast, consistent rival to Vettel, but questions remain about his ability to engage with designers technically, a characteristic Red Bull seemingly values highly.

While Lotus is keen on Raikkonen staying on, doubts remain about the future of team-mate Romain Grosjean.

While Grosjean outpaced his more illustrious team-mate at times during the German Grand Prix, doubts about his temperament remain after a crash-strewn debut full season in 2012.

However, Grosjean's presence brings a guaranteed sponsorship from oil company Total with it, rumoured to be in the region of £5million per year.

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