Lotus shrug off Kimi-Red Bull talk

Tuesday 16-April-2013 14:49

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has played down suggestions that Red Bull could lure Kimi Raikkonen away from Enstone.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitted recently that they are still to decide on a partner for Sebastian Vettel for 2014 season and revealed that Raikkonen's name will be in the hat, saying "Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate".

The Finn, who has impressed since returning to F1 at the start of last season, has also admitted that he doesn't "have a contract for next season and I have no plans".

Lopez, though, is quite relaxed about Raikkonen's future at Lotus as he is confident the 2007 World Champion will stay as long as they provide him the right machinery.

"Kimi's position is going to be based on a bunch of things and not on what Red Bull say - I think they have their hands full right now," he told Autosport.

"As far as we are concerned, the relationship with Kimi is excellent.

"We are where we want to be, he is where he wants to be, and I can guarantee you that Kimi is not the sort of guy who is going to sign any sort of pre-contract. Not with anybody.

"If we keep giving him what he wants then I don't see there is any reason for him to go anywhere.

"We are happy, so we don't see any reason to replace him."

He added: "I think it [future drivers] is far off the whole game right now," he said. "They have their own issues and maybe saying something like that, they are thinking it may be able to help them but I don't see how.

"We are well where we are and I think Kimi will stay."

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