APRIL 16, 2013
Lotus plays down Raikkonen speculation
Lotus has played down reports Kimi Raikkonen could be set to jump ship to Red Bull for 2014.
Team owner Gerard Lopez told France's RMC Sport that he thinks the rumours connecting the reigning world champions with the Finn are a diversionary ploy by Red Bull.
He said Lotus would like to keep the 2007 world champion, who is currently just three points behind Sebastian Vettel for the drivers' title lead.
"Kimi is a driver we appreciate greatly," said Lopez. "I think he also appreciates the team.
"We would like him to stay," he admitted. "For now, I think he cannot see himself somewhere else either."
Lopez said he thinks Red Bull triggered the rumours about Raikkonen as some sort of diversionary tactic amid the 'Multi-21' team orders affair.
"After the third race, to be saying things like that ... I think those who have said it are maybe having other problems.
"But that's not the case with us, it's going very well just as we are," said Lopez.