Lotus 'obviously' want to retain Kimi

Friday 28-June-2013 17:13

Lotus will be fighting to retain Kimi Raikkonen for next season after Red Bull expressed their interest in the Finn.

With Mark Webber announcing this week that he is leaving F1 at the end of the season, Red Bull are in the hunt for a new team-mate for Sebastian Vettel. And the team has put Raikkonen on their short list.

Lotus, though, are intent on holding onto their Finnish driver.

"He is out of contract," team boss Eric Boullier admitted on Friday. "Red Bull is chasing Kimi and we obviously want to keep Kimi.

"Kimi will decide what he wants to do, and he will decide what is best for him.

"He knows what he has with us; he can guess what he has with Red Bull. Now we are talking with him and he is seeking some understanding of where we are going, in terms of building with the new ownership.

"He is happy with what he has, so we will see."

The Frenchman added that Raikkonen is "happy" with the team that he joined last season when he returned to F1.

Lotus face a tough fight, though, as reigning World Champs Red Bull Racing are chasing the Finn.

"Of course Kimi Raikkonen is a driver you'd be foolish to ignore," said team boss Christian Horner.

"But we are not just looking at Kimi, we also have Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne who are two candidates."

As for what may entice Raikkonen to Red Bull, Horner says "at the end of the day it will be equipment at their disposal.

"Any drivers will want the most competitive environment at their disposal."

He also insisted that any driver who joins Vettel at Red Bull will have the team's full support "as we always have done."

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