'Red Bull pushing hard to get Kimi'

Thursday 11-July-2013 11:56

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has revealed that Red Bull are doing all they can to lure Kimi Raikkonen to Milton Keynes.

Mark Webber's decision to call it a day at the end of the current Formula One season has left Red Bull with a vacant seat for the 2014 campaign.

Although Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has announced that Toro Rosso duo Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are also on the shortlist to replace Webber, it is no secret that Raikkonen is their number one target.

Lotus, though, are also determined to hang onto the Finn for at least another year, but Boullier admits Red Bull are stepping up their chase for him.

"I don't think that there is a fundamental change to what I said before," he told the official Formula One website.

"It is true that Red Bull is pushing hard to get Kimi on board and I am sure that they will put together a very nice proposal for him, even easing his PR life. But again: it will be Kimi's decision."

He added: "We have spent some time talking already, yes - and we will sit down again."

Red Bull will no doubt have a lot of cash to offer Raikkonen, but Boullier says his Enstone squad offers something different.

"I think he likes the team and the people in the team," he said.

"He is comfortable with them. Sometimes you have a good car at the start of the season, but the question is will you be able to keep up that level - and Kimi can see that we can do it.

"With much less resources than Red Bull we still can develop the car and compete at the same level. This weekend we had conditions that are 'normal', not tricky ones, not cold and rainy, and you saw that our car was competitive.

"If you are competitive at mid-season then in all probability we will keep the development curve on the up. So our system is working and if he is comfortable and earns enough for his 'afterlife' then why should he go? In the end it is up to him to tell us what he would like us to do and we will look to do it.

"He knows that we are flexible and that we listen to our drivers."

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