Kimi Raikkonen, no fan of the spotlight, is the man of the moment as F1’s summer slumber ends this weekend in Belgium.
The Finn’s manager has ruled out a move to Red Bull, but some sources at Spa-Francorchamps think the fact the team has put off announcing Daniel Ricciardo’s 2014 deal is a sign Raikkonen might still be in the running.
At the same time, Lotus has made clear it wants to keep the 33-year-old on board, while reports continue to insist there is a real chance Raikkonen will return to Ferrari.
Germany’s Sport Bild even reports that Raikkonen recently admitted to friends during an alcohol-fuelled night out in Helsinki that he will be wearing red again in 2014. Reporting about the Helsinki party, the German broadcaster RTL suggested Ferrari has put a EUR 11 million contract on the table, including bonuses and sponsorship of his motocross team.
As ever in the ‘silly season’, though, there are conflicting reports. Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat is now quoting Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson as saying the driver actually wants to stay at Lotus in 2014. “Kimi likes it at Lotus,” said Robertson. “But we are waiting for information on certain issues that are still outstanding. “About Kimi’s future, the ball is in Lotus’ court.” And the German newspaper Welt reports that talks between Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg, about replacing the Brazilian Felipe Massa, have now kicked off.
Info: GMM, Image: Lotus F1 Team