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Lotus moving closer to re-signing Raikkonen

The Lotus F1 team appears hopeful that it is close to sealing Kimi Raikkonen's service for another season in F1, as the Finn's options for 2014 seen to be narrowing.
The Lotus F1 team says that it is hopeful of extending Kimi Raikkonen's stay at Enstone through 2014 and that it is close to securing the former world champion's signature on a contract extension.

"We already talk a lot," said team owner Gerard Lopez this weekend. "As long as we are able to give him what he wants and we can react calmly, I believe we can reach an agreement quickly."

While Raikkonen has appeared happy at Lotus since his return at the start of 2012 from a two-year sabbatical from the F1 paddock, questions about the team's financial status have been raised with reports suggesting that they have been late to pay the Finn for his services.

But while Raikkonen himself alluded to this issue when talking with the media on Friday at Spa, he is thought to be more focussed on whether Lotus will be competitive in 2014 and provide him with a platform for a serious bid at winning a second F1 world championship, and seeking 'guarantees' from the Lotus management that they have the necessary resources to build on their current form.

"We do not need to give any guarantees," said Lopez, dismissing such talk. "We are very competitive."

The most important factor in that consideration is the team's engine deal, with Raikkonen hopeful that Lotus can exploit a possible estrangement between Renault and their tentpole team Red Bull Racing now that Red Bull have upped their technical and business partnership with Infiniti.

"We are very close to reaching an agreement with Renault," said Lopez. "I believe that we have very good chances. We've done a good job to give Kimi what he wants."

Raikkonen had thought to be favourite to succeed Mark Webber in the #2 Red Bull car, but recent reports have suggested that Daniel Ricciardo is now all-but confirmed in the seat.

With few vacancies available at other top teams capable of boosting Raikkonen to a second world title, the driver has even been linked with Ferrari with whom he he raced until the end of 2009, when he agree to his contract being bought out to allow the team to sign Fernando Alonso as their new lead driver.

But the rumours that Raikkonen has signed for his former team have been dismissed this weekend by his manager Steve Robertson.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.08.2013- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 leads Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
24.08.2013- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.08.2013- Free Practice 3, Steve Robertson (GBR) Driver Manager of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team.
24.08.2013- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T in the pits.
Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Lotus F1 Team 
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T with lights on the rear diffuser.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Ferrari Test and Reserve Driver.
Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23.
Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23

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August 25, 2013 3:44 PM

"smart money" sees Kimi signing with Lotus? We are very close to giving him what he wants? Based on the interview I heard from Kimi, what he wants is for you to pay him what you owe him before you promise more. Lotus management should quit telling us how "close" they are and pay up. The Red Bull door is not closed or else Riciardo would have been announced already.


August 25, 2013 3:53 PM
Last Edited 553 days ago

Speaking to James Allen in the build up to Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix on Australian Network 10, Webber said, 'The decision is made. We all know who it is. I’m happy with that decision. It’s good for him and it’s good for Australia. ' . . . theJudge13

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