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Vettel still eyes Raikkonen pairing

ESPN Staff
August 22, 2013 « Di Resta 'itching' for better results amid speculation over his future | Grosjean willing to lead Lotus »
Kimi Raikkonen's manager says talks ended with Red Bull some time ago © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel acknowledges it is unlikely he will be joined by Kimi Raikkonen at Red Bull next season but would like to be his team-mate at some point in the future.

Raikkonen was one of the favourites for the vacant Red Bull drive in 2014, but it now appears that Daniel Ricciardo will get the nod to join Vettel after Raikkonen's manager admitted that talks ended unsuccessfully some time ago. Asked about his feelings now it doesn't appear Raikkonen will be joining the team, Vettel said he is hopeful of pairing up with him at some point in the future.

"First of all, I didn't know how realistic it was or not," Vettel said. "Obviously I've learned - similar to most of us, from the press - definitely that as it looks like that's not the case. For sure I'm talking with the team but as I've said many times it's not my decision so I don't want to get too involved.

"I think Kimi would have been nice in many ways, but now it's not happening so it doesn't make much sense to talk about that. But who knows? He's still young, I'm still young so I don't know. A lot of things can still happen so never say never, but probably next year it's not going to happen."

Vettel was also sceptical that Raikkonen could return to Ferrari instead.

"I get along quite well with Kimi so I would be in a way happy if he finds a spot where he's happy. I think he has a good seat at the moment with Lotus, but if he can improve then I would be happy for him.

"I think Kimi is very straightforward, you don't get any bullshit with him and politics so in that regard I don't know how realistic it is for him to return to Ferrari. Obviously he's been there, Fernando came, Kimi left to go rallying … I think he's very uncomplicated."