Lotus play down Raikkonen to Red Bull rumours

Tuesday 16th April 2013, 14:24 by TF1T Staff 

Lotus F1 Team, LAT Photographic

Lotus have played down speculation that Red Bull is looking to lure Kimi Raikkonen away from the team to replace Mark Webber in 2014.

The Australian is widely expected to leave the Milton Keynes based team at the end of the year following on from the 'Multi 21' fall out in Malaysia.

That led to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitting that Raikkonen would be an ideal replacement.

Lotus have however played down the reports, with co-owner Gerard Lopez believing Raikkonen has enough reasons to remain with them after 2013.

"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 told reporters.

"As far as we are concerned, the relationship with Kimi is excellent," he added. "If we keep giving him what he wants then I don't see there is any reason for him to go anywhere.

"We are happy, so we don't see any reason to replace him."

He suspects Red Bull might be playing a political game to calm the current situation regarding its drivers.

"They have their own issues and maybe saying something like that, they are thinking it may be able to help them but I don't see how."

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