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Lotus plays down Raikkonen, Red Bull link

16 April 2013

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has moved to downplay suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen could make a move away from the team to drive for Red Bull in 2014.

Speculation suggests that Red Bull will be on the look-out for a new driver for 2014 on the back of the controversial team orders call in Malaysia, with rumours linking Mark Webber with a possible move to sportscars with Porsche – although the German manufacturer has moved to play down those reports.

While Red Bull insists that Webber is very much in contention to stay on next year, Raikkonen has also been mentioned a potential candidate to the drive for the champions by owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

The Finn is out of contract at the end of the season by Lopez said he wasn't concerned to see his driver linked with someone else and didn't see any reason why he would want to move on.

"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 was quoted by the Independent. "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 Kimi is not the kind 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, and we are happy so we don't see any reason for us to replace him.

"With regard to Red Bull, it's part of the whole game right now as they've got their own issues. We are where we are, and I think Kimi will stay."

Raikkonen has failed to score just once since making his return to the grid at the start of last year, and currently sits second in the championship standings – just three points behind Sebastian Vettel.


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