Eric Boullier says Lotus is doing all it can to retain Kimi Raikkonen for the 2014 season, with the Enstone-based team 'optimistic' that it will win the race for the Finn's signature.

Raikkonen has been linked to Red Bull for next year as a replacement for Mark Webber, with his existing deal with Lotus coming to an end at the conclusion of the current campaign.

Given the results he has secured since returning to the sport - with points scoring in every race bar one and two victories - Lotus is keen to keep the 2007 title winner onboard and Boullier said he was hopeful that the 33-year-old would still be racing in Lotus colours next year.

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"I'm very optimistic," he told the JA on F1 podcast. "There is a lot of discussion in the press, most of it is irrelevant. It is all about making Kimi comfortable enough to stay and happy to stay. Part of it is done.

"He knows the team and the environment. Now it's about building up the right package. He will then take his decision."

Boullier added that he was sure that Lotus would be able to give Raikkonen a car capable of challenging at the front if he does re-sign for next year, despite the fact that the team is operating with lower budgets than a number of its rivals.

"I do feel very optimistic for the simple reason that we started early enough to work on next year's project," he said. "In the middle of last year, we had a dedicated team working on 2014.

"We also have a strong relationship with Renault and having the engine manufacturer working closely with you is very important so we can simulate what we can expect for next year."