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MOTORSPORT: Raikkonen unclear on future after Red Bull snub
10:00am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Sport
Kimi Raikkonen has admitted to being in limbo following his snub by Red Bull.
Raikkonen, who drives for the Enstone-based Lotus team, was in the running for the seat vacated by Mark Webber at the end of the year, only for Red Bull to decide on promoting Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso.
There are also rumours about a potential return to Ferrari, despite the Finn seemingly burning his bridges with the team when he left Formula 1 at the end of 2009.
Realistically, Lotus remain Raikkonen’s best option, but only given certain financial and technical conditions he is insisting upon.
Team principal Eric Boullier has previously confirmed everything is being done to meet those conditions, but until that time, Raikkonen does not have a seat for 2014.
Reflecting on Red Bull’s decision, Raikkonen said: “We made it clear before the last race what was going to happen, so it (their decision) wasn’t really a surprise in the end.
“I don’t think anything went wrong. Probably they wanted a different thing. You go and ask them, I don’t know.
“For me it doesn’t really matter. It is fine and it is not the first time. Sometimes you speak with people and it doesn’t work out.
“From my side nothing has changed since the last race. We will see, there is still a long way to go this year before we have to decide.”
The 33-year-old Finn’s issues with Lotus, however, appear problematic as he added: “They know the reasons why there is no going forward right now.
“Until they sort out those issues we cannot talk about next year. It is as simple as that. They know exactly the reasons.”
And with regard to the financial situation, Raikkonen added: “That hasn’t changed for a long time.”
It is why Raikkonen is eager to keep the peace with Ferrari just in case an opportunity presents itself.
“I never had anything against anybody,” said Raikkonen on his previous dealings with Ferrari, with whom he won the title in 2007.
“Obviously, certain things could have been different in the past in many areas, not just at Ferrari, but for many teams.”
As for the current season, and in the wake of his first retirement in 39 races last time out in Belgium, where his car suffered a brake failure, Raikkonen recognises his title chances are slim.
Trailing Sebastian Vettel by 63 points ahead of tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said: “It’s now difficult.
“I still have a chance, so I’ll try to do the best I can and I’ll see where I end up..”
The Finn was third fastest behind Vettel and Webber after yesterday’s second practice session, albeit setting exactly the same time as team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Vettel posted a lap of 1min 24.453secs, with Webber the best of the rest, but a remarkable 0.623secs adrift.
Unlike in first practice when the top 14 drivers were covered by a second, and on the hard Pirelli tyre, the switch in the second session to the faster medium Lotus have handed Raikkonen a long-wheelbase car for this weekend in a bid to seek any advantage they can find.
Although he was four tenths of a second faster than Grosjean in first ptactice, they could not be separated in the second.
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