Lotus have moved to deny any rumours that Kimi Raikkonen is to make the move to rivals Red Bull for 2014.
The Finn, who was sponsored by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz during his stint in Rallying, has been linked to a seat alongside reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel at the Milton Keynes team, should Mark Webber leave at the end of the year.
36-year-old Webber is strongly rumoured to leave F1 to drive for Porsche next year and this would leave a seat open at the team. Red Bull reserve driver Sebastian Buemi or the Toro Rosso duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne would stand as the most obvious replacements should Webber back down, but Mateschitz’s comments about Raikkonen could suggest that he has the Finn in mind.
However, in an interview with France’s RMC sport, Lotus’ Gerard Lopez maintains the 2007 World Champion is comfortable at Lotus.
“Kimi is a driver we appreciate greatly.” he said. “I think he also appreciates the team. We would like him to stay. For now, I think he cannot see himself somewhere else either.
Raikkonen is friends with his potential team-mate Vettel, but one could imagine the pure nightmare of trying to impose any sort of team order on either man.