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Lotus expects Raikkonen to stay in 2013

ESPN Staff
August 22, 2012 « Force India can beat Williams - Hulkenberg | New Hamilton deal 'eminently doable' - Whitmarsh »
James Allison is looking forward to Kimi Raikkonen staying on for a second year at Lotus © Press Association
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Lotus technical director James Allison is confident Kimi Raikkonen will remain at his team next year and is looking forward to the improved performances that driver consistency will bring.

Over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend rumours emerged that Raikkonen was being considered as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa at Ferrari, even though he is in talks to remain at Lotus. However, Allison says he has seen no indication that Raikkonen will leave the team.

"He doesn't give us any reason to think that he is going elsewhere," he said in a video interview on the Lotus website. "I think he likes it with us, I think we're giving him competitive equipment and it's a very straightforward working environment for any driver who comes and works in our team."

Allison said he was looking forward to the 2013 season when Lotus will benefit from the continuity of Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean staying on after several driver changes over the last two seasons.

"One of the reasons I'm so excited about the second half of the season is that both our drivers have their tails up and both are absolutely on song, and we have bedded in with them and them with us and we are now making the most of what I hope is a very strong driver line-up," he said. "It's important for us to carry that strength through to next year as well. We won't have any engineering bedding in to do that we have when we have a new driver if we can have that continuity, but for this year it's going to be great and we're all working very well together. If we can carry that through to next year, which no doubt we will, that will be an additional advantage to us."