Raikkonen: “Lotus know what they have to do” to retain star driver
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Aug 2013   |  11:29 am GMT  |  51 comments

Kimi Raikkonen has spoken about his contractual situation with Lotus and the interest in him from Red Bull Racing, saying Lotus know what they have to do to keep him.

After showing consistently impressive form since his comeback, the Finn is in demand and has been speaking to several leading teams.

Raikkonen has consistently said that he is happy at Lotus and that being in the right environment is as important to him as everything else.

But as one of the highest paid drivers in F1, he needs the confidence that the team will be able to deliver to his requirements.

Its’ no secret that cash flow is tight with the Enstone team as they wait to complete the investment from the Infinity investment group of US/Middle Eastern investors. The engine supply deal is not yet complete with Renault.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier told this website in Spa on Saturday that the pieces were slowly coming into place and is still confident of holding on to his lead driver.

Having dodged his media commitments on Thursday, citing illness, Raikkonen faced the media on Friday afternoon and said of his contract situation,

“It’s the same as four weeks ago. Nothing has changed, apart from more rumours and more teams.

As for his financial position with Lotus he said, “For sure it’s not as it should be, but hopefully those things get sorted quickly.

“They know there are certain issues we have and until those are solved there is no point talking about next year. They know exactly what they have to do first, and then we are open to talk. It’s not really up to me.”

As for the interest from Red Bull Racing, Raikkonen said, “I have no answers from them and I am waiting to hear from them personally what they are going to do. Right now I don’t know better than you guys.”

Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson said before the Spa weekend that his driver had withdrawn from talks with the Red Bull Racing management. However Christian Horner said that there were still plenty of options open.

Raikkonen is mindful of the fact that next year’s switch to hybrid turbo drivetrains will shake up the pecking order compared to this year and he clearly feels that great care needs to be taken when evaluating options. He has had contact with Ferrari about a return there, with some Italian colleagues suggesting that there is a real possibility of it happening.

“The fact is that we will see dramatic changes next year,” Raikkonen said, “And that nobody has a magic wand to make all problems disappear. Probably we will see very different teams at the top than we would expect now.”

Raikkonen is the only driver to have scored points in every GP so far this season and has set a new record of 27 consecutive points finishes up to and including the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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I’m gonna pmsl if Riccardo steps up to RBR, a junior steps into STR and everyone else stays where they are.


Its funny how most F1 fans just look like regular football fans?

I love football because it brings out my passions, makes me feel alive and it’s great for daily small talk

With F1, not only do I love it, I also admire it, as it has both passion and wonderful engineering, making heart and head work together

My first statement is pointed out because of so many ridiculous comments like “Vettel is only good because of the car he drives”, “Hamilton only beat Alonso in McLaren because he was favored”, “Massa doesn’t perform better because Alonso is favored”, “Schumacher was never that good because he sucked at Mercedes”, “Webber is a victim at Red Bull”, “Raikkonen is right and F1 politics is wrong”

A lot of things could be said about the previous, but this is about Raikkonen

Raikkonen has a great character, and so I guess one who likes him can get carried away about him

Everyone says he should be given a top car, without realizing he’s been in a top car since he returned to F1. On average, throughout the last 30 races, the Lotus has been the 2nd quickest car on Race pace. Qualifying has been its Achilles heel, but it hasn’t always been down to the car, as one could see so often by Raikkonen beaten in qualifying by an average driver like Grosjean

So it’s strange when everyone points the guns out at Lotus, a financially struggling team, for not performing better, when they always gave Raikkonen, one of the highest paid drivers, a great car.

A wise or willing to win driver, would rather have one less million in his pockets, and more performance on the car, like Button in Brawn for instance

It’s sad to think hundreds of people working for a team, having their jobs and wages threatened, only for one individual to claim his high figures

I know Raikkonen has been doing a decent job at Lotus (even if one could argue it could be better), and points get millions at the end of the year, but I also think a some less paid drivers, like Hulkenberg teaming with Di Resta, for instance, wouldn’t do worse, and the team would have more money to develop the car


You are right in your last point, thats why its mutually beneficial for both Raikkonen and Lotus to part company. Raikkonen has only 2-4 years racing left in him and with the tremendous uncertainty over Lotus’ financial and immediate engineering future, Raikkonen feels he wants to make a last splash for a top team and then retire. I can understand it from his point of view. I am pretty sure he is willing to take a pay-cut to drive for Ferrari, which is why Ferrari are even considering his return. Lotus was good for Raikkonen and Raikkonen was good for Lotus- despite his poor quail, on race day he is a different kettle of fish


In Finnish media there’s a rumor that Kimi would go to Ferrari to replace Alonso. Alonso would go to Lotus with the Santander money. Bernie would be the man behind it all. Why? Firstly he doesn’t want two top drivers in a same team (Kimi and Alonso in Ferrari), secondly he wants to help Lotus in its financial struggle. Any comments about this scenario?


Makes perfect F1 sense 😀


I still have a feeling that Kimi has signed with Ferrari, but the announcement is pending something else that’s going on behind the closed doors. Is it a move of Alonso and Santander to Lotus that Bernie is orchestrating, as the latest rumour suggests? This would solve Lopez’s monetary troubles (and potentially save the whole Lotus operation) and see that the top tier drivers are all in different teams, which would better serve Bernie’s commercial interests.


No, unfortunately, he’ll likely have to go.

No DDRS for Spa, and thus competitiveness in the qualifying, FAIL!

No money, maybe…, but it looks like shakey, at best, FAIL!

Too bad, it took a long time for me to like Boullier, and I think they (KR-EB) have a good communications system, and are delivering to maximum of their abilities.

My opinion on where Kimi should go:

1. Mercedes against Lewis

2. Red Bull against Vettel

3. Ferrari, with Boullier taking over from SD, and any teammate (maybe DiResta or Bianchi. or Grosjean)

4. McLaren, maybe… but there’s a bit of bad blood with the Mexican; who knows how their 2014 car is going, but it is safe to say that, like Ferrari, even if you like Whitmarsh, as I do, there is a problem at the top, and like Lotus, what are they doing to fill the top technical spot?


As for the interest from Red Bull Racing, Raikkonen said, “I have no answers from them and I am waiting to hear from them personally what they are going to do. Right now I don’t know better than you guys.”

Lol. Was he really asking “What are they going to do when I am about to overtake Sebastian Vettel”


I think Kimi will stay at Lotus.

Infinity deal with lotus was announced way back and if still it hasn’t been signed yet, then they be must in its final stages to sign the deal.

On Situation with Red Bull, they did bring him back in to the frame but since the decision lies with them it looks like there may be more drivers in the frame other than RICCIARDO and RAIKONNEN.

On Situation with Ferrari, they are taking their own time but if they are smart they should really sign Kimi/Button and have strong driver pairing atleast on paper because now we know that Ferrari may have a fast car at start of the season, but Red Bull and Mercedes can outsmart them in Car development through rest of the season.


It’s pretty weird that there’s these deals that are supposed to be done but really aren’t (Lotus/Infinity, Sauber/Soviets). Has it always been like this in F1 or is this modern progress?


These deals may be announced publicly in their early stages; may be to secure sponsors/other investors interest (whichever applicable).

Whenever these things come out in public it will create a correct impression about the management “trying to solve” the current issues…..

That’s the way I think about it!


Someone can correct me if I am wrong but Raikkonen’s run of consecutive points finishes was made up of two 10th and two 9th places. So Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes is a much more admirable achievement. It is rather unfair to Schumacher that this record is taken from him due to points system alterations.

This type of record should really be determined by the best average finishing place of the particular run of most consecutive race finishes.


Stats are just stats. That’s completely different stat you’re describing.


Replacing Massa with Kimi will be just plain counter-productive, coz (as Alonso said) he was comprehensively beaten by Massa whilst they were team mates.


Speaks more about Massa’s rapid decline as a driver, as well as Alonso’s fear that a world class driver could potentially threaten his immortality at Ferrari, rather than anything else


This was five years ago with a different Massa, a different Kimi, a Schumacher who was influencing decisions towards Massa and against Kimi.

Besides, tell me how many teams are lining up in order to secure Massa’s abilities? Don’t be ridiculous, Massa is a 7/10 on his good days, Kimi is master-class level 10/10.


Besides, tell me how many teams are lining up in order to secure Massa’s abilities?

We all know the answer to that question: ZERO


WDCs: Kimi 1 – Massa 0.



Check the link, that’s how he was beaten.

Just plain screwing that…..

Logically, think as how a defending champion(2007) who starts a strong title defense(2008) is soundly beaten by his team mate?

Motivation you think?

i.e how is it that he wasn’t motivated to defend his title in championship winning car, but is motivated in 2012/2013 to challenge for the title when we all know(and he himself knows it) that he only has an outside chance of winning the title….


Interesting that when something similar happened to Lewis last year, it didn’t get this sort of coverage.

Instead he was crucified for posting some useless data on twitter in frustration. If Lewis won the WDC last year, it would have made Mac look stupid.

But thanks for that info Harshad.

People must stop saying a team will never subotage one of it’s drivers…..


Indeed, just ask Mark “kers issue” Webber.


Lotus already have a very fast driver in Grosjean (albeit he has a few rough edges to work on) and they can certainly produce a very quick car. Based on this I’m surprised they are so determined to hold on to a very expensive driver. I think there’s a strong case for focusing their plans on Grosjean with A Another solid driver like Hulkenburg or a return for Kobyashi


You may like to refer to the points table for an explanation!


I think you’ve misunderstood the financial value of points when the money is handed out to teams based on constructors standings at the end of the year.

I don’t know the numbers but my guess is the extra points Kimi has earned over and above Grosjean are more than worth his (allegedly) highly performance related package.

Would Hulkenburg or Kobayashi nett as much for the team even if they’re cheaper to start with?

My guess is Boullier knows they wouldnt’ which is why he’s so keen to keep Kimi.

And I’d guess the issue with Kimi isn’t about his personal income so much as the teams ability to fund a replacement for James Allison, get the engine supply resolved and give him confidence they have the resource

s to master the 2014 technical challenges.


The issue of having Raikonnen is also to do with the Image of the company as a whole. Now if you are an investor and looking to enter F1 with Lotus then having a world championship driver makes sense as the investment flow is guranteed. Now as much as I respect Nico Hulkenberg I dont think the investers will be highly excited. Proof is Lotus prior to 2012.


Yeah, you got it right.

If personal pay was the issue, then he could take a personal stake in the entire company as compensation; the other issues are the critical ones.


Look at the facts and results.


Kimi will probably know all about why James Allison decided to abandon this ship, and I can’t see him sticking with Lotus if other options are actually there.. . I do hope Ferrari is a done deal.

As for RBR, well, they will know what’s best for their drinks company, but putting the interests of their junior “academy” team ahead of the senior team makes no sense.

Also, they are banking on Sebs remaining the potent winning force that he currently is. This may well be the case, but I would have gone for strength in depth and got KR on board while the chance is there.

Of course, there may be a very simple factor that has been thwarting this deal all along: a quiet request from Sebs not to bring Kimi in. And that would be understandable.


This is the best opportunity for a manufacturer to get (back) into F1 by buying the team – and rebranding it.

Next year’s F1 hybrid image suits Toyota as one of the hybrid market leaders. Or BMW with their i-series cars. The simplest would be Renault or Nissan – with no awkward engine transition issues.

This funding will secure the team’s engineering momentum and good drivers like Kimi. Seems like a win for all if some quick decisions could be reached.


Its hard to believe all this fuss is about a driver who just returned from exile. It really shows the worth of Kimi’s talent.


Kimi Raikkonen has to have a top-car as his talent deserves it. He should sign with Red Bull and stop waiting for Lotus sorting out their business. PR days and simulator work can be some of the obstacles keeping him away from RBR, but they must find an agreement.


The situation is out of Kimi’s hands. If Red Bull prefer Ricciardo and if Ferrari prefer Hulkenberg/Di Resta then Kimi doesn’t really have option but to sign with Lotus again.


oops ‘an option’.


One thing I do not get and I never seen people clearly articulating it. Money is not everything that should influence the decision. Lotus lost Allison and without the budget of top teams and not being the manufacturer I really do not see how they can become a team to beat next year and allow Kimi to fight for the title. It gotta be Ferrari or Red Bull.


I also do not think it is money, Boullier himself said so. I thik there are all those small details that make a winning team. A lot of mistakes in strategy, some missed calls, inability to get the car going in the wet, etc. If you are not competitive in the wet, and have on the average four wet races a year, then the championship is lost beforehand. In yesterday’s qualifying Kimi and Romain missed another run by just 4-5 seconds. All the drivers coming behind them were a lot faster because of improving track conditions. A top team calculates these things and releases its drivers a few seconds earlier. Kimi attributed this to luck, but he has said in the past that luck plays no part in F1. I believe Kimi is holding out for these sort of things rather than money.


Luck had nothing to do with missing the final run by a few seconds. It was either poor driving from Kimi ie he was too slow the lap before. Or it was the teams fault for not sending him out earlier. It was lucky, however, that conditions improved for those who had timed their final run slightly better.


By saying that there is a possibility of different teams at the top next year, Raikonnen might be suggesting that current momentum of a team’s performance may not carry over to the next year. Hence, it is risky for him to decide which team without fully understanding what are they developing for next year.

The teams can say the same thing about drivers. Raikonnen’s consistency since his come back is no guarantee for his future motivation to give 100%. He was shown the door by Ferrari once (with full pay)—any team signing him up will carry that risk. We also saw how Hamilton’s performance on track was adversely affected by developments on his personal life.

So Raikonnen should not think that he has the luxury of making all the choices and teams will line up to have him.


In Finnish media there’s a rumor that Kimi would go to Ferrari to replace Alonso. Alonso would go to Lotus with the Santander money. Bernie would be the man behind it all. Why? Firstly he doesn’t want two top drivers in a same team (Kimi and Alonso in Ferrari), secondly he wants to help Lotus in its financial struggle. Any comments about this scenario?


I think this is rubbish. Why would Alonso go to Lotus? Ok, they have been nearly at the top for two seasons now but they lack money, they lost a valuable engineer and the performance of their car relies heavily on the fact that it doesn’t eat its tyres. Its enough to fight for podiums and the occasional victory but this is not the recipe for beating RB or Mercedes in the long run.


Alonso will not leave Ferrari, even if there is a lot of frustration all round at the moment


So Kimi is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On one hand, he likes Lotus and their easy going way of operations but on other hand, Lotus can’t guarantee Kimi’s financial security at this moment in time.

Yes very tricky indeed and this deal is hanging on a thread in that if Lotus come up with the financial resources then Kimi stays otherwise money talks and the highest bidder will win at the end of the day.

As for Red Bull, I believe Kimi must have pulled out of those talks for a different reason. I doubt Red Bull would have declined to pay whatever wages Kimi asked.

In conclusion, the longer Kimi takes to sign a new contract, the more likely he will switch teams like what happened with Lewis in 2012.


I’m not so sure it is about Kimi’s salary. Yes, it is about money but more in the team having the available budget to fully develop a competitive car for 2014 and to maintain the development throughout the year. Kimi wants another world title so having a team that is likely to start 2014 in a competitive position and to maintain or improve that through the year is vital. Given current finances and team structures who would you bet on – Adrian Newey and the team at RBR or Lotus? Lotus started the year strong but are fading. RBR started the year strong and have just got stronger. Given that both teams are potentially on the same engine then the chasis and aero package becomes more important. There is obviously something in the RBR offer not to Kimi’s liking (probably Vettel’s number 1 status) that has prevented signing on the dotted line right now.


Makes me think, is it ok to use term financial security in the same sentence with someone earning millions.


Salary to an F1 driver isn’t just about money. It is also about establishing the pecking order within the grid. The higher your salary, the more valuable you appear to other teams and to your fellow drivers. So while Kimi might have more money in his personal fortune than he could ever (reasonably) spend, it is important to maintain a high salary for career purposes.


Different salary’s and different expenses and costs of living, everythings relative and certainly not comparable to an average workers salary.

Besides, he is going through a divorce.


Herrings……lots of them around in Spa this week……most of them are the RED variety….:)


They eat them pickled in Kimi’s country.


Look the the photos – you can see his lips saying “Pay salary arrears and we can talk.” 🙂


I doubt if it’s about money. I suspect it’s about RB guaranteeing Kimi equal status with Vettel. Perhaps it’s something they can’t do. I don’t know if Vettel has a #1 clause in his contract but the team in general and Vettel in particular both act as if there is.


James did you get any indication from Boullier as to when he sees this Infinity deal coming through and what kind iof investment is involved. It’s pretty clear this is at the crux of financial support that Lotus needs and their ability to pay Kimi his dues- beyond this, it will decide how competitive the E22 of 2014 will be and that is something that Kimi want probably more than anything else

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