Lotus boss Eric Boullier insists the team isn't bitter about Kimi Raikkonen's decision to re-sign with Ferrari
for the 2014 F1 season.
After two years at Enstone, Raikkonen will return to the team that carried him to the 2007 title after being confirmed as partner to Fernando Alonso
on a two-year deal.
Lotus had been keen to keep the Finn onboard but proved to be unable to agree a deal, and while he was disappointed to see the 33-year-old depart, Boullier insisted the team wasn't bitter.
“Not at all,” he said. “Two years ago, when we decided to sign him, quite a few people thought we were crazy. And what happened in the end? We've been working with an amazing racer, who scored points for the team 27 times in a row, won two races, put motivation at a very high level at Enstone, and got on very well with his team-mate.
“Of course this is a disappointment to all of us, and we're sure you will agree that Kimi has been nothing but brilliant since he joined us. In the same breath, Enstone has once again proven its pedigree; providing him with two great cars and making his return to Formula 1 a success. It's been a win-win situation right from the beginning.”
With Raikkonen's move now confirmed, Boullier said it was important for Lotus to now look to the future with a decision to be made 'shortly' on who would come in as his replacement.
“Now, it's time to think about the future,” he said. “You know, we remain a medium-sized team and there are some areas in which we're not in a position to fight against the other top teams just yet. We've had Schumacher, Alonso, Raikkonen. New champions will join the list here soon I'm sure.
“We are currently in discussion with a few people and will make a decision shortly. We are in the privileged position of being the most desirable team on the grid with a seat available, so we are therefore in no rush to announce anyone without establishing what will be the best for our team and the future.”