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Lopez confident Raikkonen will stay at Lotus

ESPN Staff
May 22, 2013 « More focus on 2013 - Whitmarsh | Drivers have to think to win races again - Ecclestone »
Kimi Raikkonen sits just four points behind Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship after five races © Getty Images
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Lotus owner Gerard Lopez says he is "not concerned" that Kimi Raikkonen will leave the team at the end of the season.

Raikkonen's contract is up at the end of the year, and with Mark Webber's future uncertain at Red Bull Raikkonen has been linked with the potential vacancy alongside Sebastian Vettel. However, Lopez told Press Association Sport that he believes Raikkonen would not want to move if he had to make a decision on his future right now.

"I'm not concerned," Lopez said. "We know we want Kimi to drive for us next year, but then we also know Kimi's character well, which means you can't force him to do anything. I know he's happy, and at this stage if he had to choose (which team to drive for next season) I know where he would be. The main thing about Kimi is he naturally wants a car to win, and he has got that with us."

Lopez admitted he expects Raikkonen to consider any offers from teams with quicker cars, but said he was certain he would stay as long as Lotus keeps delivering a race-winning car.

"If he could find a better car somewhere else, and he had an option to go there, then I'm sure he would consider it. But I know we're giving him what he needs, and as long as we keep on doing that then he'll stay with us."