Lotus deny Kimi Raikkonen claims

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen walks away after the third free practise session ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 23, 2013
© PA Photos
Lotus Renault owner Gerard Lopez denies claims that Kimi Raikkonen could join Red Bull for the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Lotus Renault owner Gerard Lopez has played down suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen could join Red Bull at the end of the Formula 1 season.

It is understood that Red Bull will seek a new teammate for Sebastian Vettel next season, with Australian driver Mark Webber in the last year of his contract.

However, Lopez told AutoSport: "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. As far as we are concerned, the relationship with Kimi is excellent.

"We are where we want to be, he is where he wants to be, and I can guarantee you that Kimi is not the sort of guy who is going to sign any sort of pre-contract.

"Not with anybody. 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."

Raikkonen finished third in the 2012 season.

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