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Raikkonen keeping options open amid Red Bull rumours

ESPN Staff
April 11, 2013 « Sutil targets China podium | Vettel's approach surprises Button »
Kimi Raikkonen: "I don't have a contract for next season and I have no plans" © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen is keeping his options open for 2014 after Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz said last week that the Lotus driver would be a "candidate" should Mark Webber decide to leave the team.

Raikkonen is out of contract with Lotus at the end of the year and after a strong return to the sport in 2012 and a winning start to 2013 his stock on the driver market is high. Speaking to Speed Week in the wake of the bust up between his drivers in Malaysia, Mateschitz said "Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate [for a race drive]".

Raikkonen shrugged off Mateschitz's quotes but said he had no concrete plans with Lotus for next season either.

"There are always rumours in Formula One, it's normal to be honest," he said. "I don't have a contract for next season and I have no plans. Usually you guys make the rumours so we'll see what happens, but this season is only two races old and we'll see how it goes."

Asked if he would stay in F1 next year, Raikkonen said: "I don't have a contract so I don't really have a plan. I probably will be [in F1], but this is a funny place and so far I have no contract."

Talking about his chances this weekend in China, Raikkonen said he is hoping he can rediscover the form that saw him take victory at the first race of the season in Australia. In Malaysia the car showed promise in Friday practice but Raikkonen said the team lost its way with set-up in qualifying and the race as he went on to finish seventh.

"We have some understanding [of what happened in Malaysia] but it's always hard to know really what's behind it," he said. "Hopefully it is what we think and it will be back to what it was on Friday at Malaysia in China. We think it's a set-up thing on the car and I'm sure that the car wasn't like it was on Friday because I could feel it, but I couldn't really doubt it at that moment. Hopefully we can change it back this weekend."