Raikkonen: PR work “not a deciding factor” for 2014

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2013Kimi Raikkonen says his choice of team for 2014 will not be dictated by which requires him to do the least public relations work.

Raikkonen’s Lotus contract expires at the end of the season and he is known to be in the running for a seat at Red Bull alongside Sebastian Vettel.

However Raikkonen, who is notoriously averse to publicity work, denied that the question of ‘PR days’ will determine who he races for next year.

“There’s a lot of rumours about PR that we have ten and some other team has a hundred,” he said in the Hungarian Grand Prix press conference.

“I’ve been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes and if you count things that you do during the week, during the weekend, everybody has a different way of counting the days. I’m sure it’s not, at least in my knowledge, the difference between the teams is in days and it’s not going to be a deciding factor.”

Raikkonen said no single issue would decide where he goes next year: “I think it’s going to be the overall package and whatever feels right for me.”

“Whatever the decision will be might feel stupid to somebody else but then it might just feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen, we have to wait and see what will come. But hopefully whatever it will be, it will be the right choice.”

He added that the change in technical rules for next year made the decision more difficult: “It really depends if one engine manufacturer gets it right and one wrong it might be a long season for some teams and and easy one for others. I don’t know, you hear rumours but that’s what I know about it.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Raikkonen: PR work “not a deciding factor” for 2014”

  1. “Whatever the decision will be might feel stupid to somebody else but then it might just feel right for me. “

    Could it be possible that Räikkönen has a third option now? Perhaps McLaren?

    Rumours indicate RBR is going to choose Ricciardo and I don’t think RBR could be considered a stupid choice, yet I get a sense he doesn’t want to stay at Lotus either.

    1. his manager steve robertson said Mclaren is one of the option.

      In 2014, its more about engine rather than team tbh.

      1. And who will leave McLaren? I think Button is there for good and Perez will not be dumped either.

    2. Yeah…hard to say. I don’t know why you think RBR is leaning toward DR, but it seems safe to say that if they want a natural number 2 for SV then it will be DR and if they want 2 roosters on the team it will be KR.

      For me it feels like KR should either go to RBR, if they are looking for another rooster that is, which is what I hope for, because they have been the best for what might be 4 years running, or he should stay at Lotus as they will be a manufacturer based team of the ilk that Ross Brawn opines a driver will want to be with starting in 2014.

      I can’t think of why KR would want to go to Mac who are not a manufacturer based team and who have been floundering lately. I don’t know what it is they could say or do for him that would convince him that is where he needs to be.

      1. I still wonder what it is that’s holding back Mac this year. Ferrari struggled with pull rod suspension last year and aren’t too bad this year, so will Mac get the hang of pull rod next year or is it something deeper?

        1. I Love the Pope
          26th July 2013, 4:55

          Probably the drivers.

      2. Lotus arent a manufacturer-based team. The name is licensed to them.

        1. Oh…ya…true, but I thought they were actually Renault with license and a business decision to call themselves Lotus. No?

          1. no, Renault just supply the engines.

    3. I was actually thinking just that when I read this. I may be reading too much into it, but neither Red Bull or Lotus would be considered a stupid option. I still believe Ricciardo will go to Red Bull and Raikkonen will remain at Lotus though.

      1. Lotus can be considered a stupid option because they have a lot less money: if they build a bad car, they won’t have enough money to turn it into a good one.

        Leaving F1 is also a possibility he said ;)

    4. It’s more than rumours suggesting Red Bull will take Ricciardo – Dietrich Mateschitz has publicly said that the team were impressedby him at the Silverstone tests.

    5. @hotbottoms Where is the place ? James Bond is important for Honda alliance , marketing and still has some juice left in him whereas Sergio has just been recruited . So no game there .

    6. there are many (as observed in the comments of sky F1 website) that consider his move to Red Bull as “stupid” with the unproven presumption that Vettel could and would demolish him being the favourite. So he might as well been pointing to this.

  2. his likely demand will be

    – bring his own engineer (mark slade) along
    – no track walk
    – no simulator run
    – no more than 10 factory visit per season
    – no PR duty outside of GP weekend
    – commanding TR is prohibited
    – Prepare a nice place in the garage for his usual 30 minute to 1 hour nap before the race.

    By the way, he just made the drivers PC dead boring. ROFL

    1. You forgot the Ice cream contract !!

      1. @hamilfan That’s a separate document entirely, worth many millions.

  3. While I realize KR has a reputation for not liking the PR stuff, I know he is not the only driver, but I am also sure he (and they) realize that it comes with the territory. Without sponsors, and the fans that react to the advertising/marketing created using racing as a vehicle, there would be no racing. I think it comes down to sitting at the negotiating table and agreeing to a certain number of PR days, or events, or whatever, and it is anything beyond that which KR would likely object to. I’m sure he willingly agrees to do a certain amount that is agreed to on paper and since it is a negotiation and nobody will have held a gun to his head I would like to think that when he does do a PR day or an event he does it happily. I doubt that he moans and groans and is a nightmare to work with when it is something he agreed to do at the negotiating table.

  4. Not surprising at all. Kimi does just as much PR as everyone else. The only difference is that Kimi admits that doesn’t like PR.

  5. “I’ve been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes and if you count things that you do during the week, during the weekend, everybody has a different way of counting the days. I’m sure it’s not, at least in my knowledge, the difference between the teams is in days and it’s not going to be a deciding factor.”

    That has to be the longest ever quote from Raikkonen

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      25th July 2013, 17:24

      loooooool +1

  6. McLaren 2014? Button and Perez both have contracts for 2014. So in that case, who would make room for Kimi? I don`t think that they would say, “Bye-bye, Mister Buttoooon.” He is a great “face” for McLaren. His British (Wow, I know), he is wonderful with the press and sponsors and fans. And most of all, he is experienced driver. And in Perez case, well, losing Vodafone, I`m quite sure that they (McLaren) won`t say no to some “Dollar flavoured Tacos from Mexico.”

    I`m a fan of Kimi`s. I would really like to see him in Red Bull. Why? Because, why not?
    I think it would be really nice seeing him in the same car as that “Wunderkind” from Germany. And for some people, these two in the same “Bull,” would give some answers. “Is that Wunderkind really that special. Quite sure that Kimi would not make Vettel`s life much easier.
    And from PR point of view. RB would not lose anything. Kimi is very popular, never mind that he would simply walk past his fans and may not even wave. People still love him.

  7. Curious that he mentions different engine suppliers getting it right or wrong, given that (as far as we know) both the teams he has to choose from will be running the same engine.

    1. @mazdachris Well spotted . It bothers the moustache of Hercule Poirot !

      1. A report on the BBC website a few weeks ago mentioned Lotus were considering Merc power next year.

    2. Some people here mentioned MacLaren as an option. But I don’t see Perez or Button leaving the team.

  8. I thought both his options for 2014 were using the Renault engine… I don’t see the point in the last paragraph, he’s stuffed either way if Renault get left behind. Or am I missing something?!

  9. I can actually see Kimi returning to Mclaren mainly because of Honda & James Allison. The question then is who stays & who goes at Mcllaren? Keeping Jenson means Mclaren would have 2 World Championship drivers. I can not posibbly see Kimi & Perez getting along in the same paddock. I would however love seeing Kimi in “Tooned”! The question is can Mclaren deal with Kimi just being Kimi?

  10. Who is going to offer him as much freedom as Lotus?.

    1. Marussia?

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    25th July 2013, 17:06

    Raikkonen just dropped a massive hint about next year in the press conference. He said…

    Some people might think the decision is stupid


    The choice will be right for me

    Raikkonen to remain at Lotus in 2014?

    1. IMO that sounds more like him moving to Caterham or Marussia. the other one i can think of is him and Alonso in Ferrari . not that i want to see that and its never going to happen anyway.

      would love to see him at RBR

  12. “I think it’s going to be the overall package and whatever feels right for me.”

    Translated version : Alright! you don’t have to keep reminding me all the time , I know what I am doing

    1. Lol :) +1

  13. The safe bet is to land a 1 year contract again at Lotus, see which engine is stronger in 2015 and attempt to go there, though it’s not like RBR, Merc, and Ferarri have seats open every year…

    1. This will probably be his only chance of going to RBR . That might weigh heavily on him . Will Lotus be willing for a 1 year contract ? If he feels Renault may be backward in the race for engines , then I don’t see him in either of mclaren , ferrari ( He told Luca’s manager to f%#@ off once) or merc ( that would be crazy ) . So , what is his other option except RBR and lotus ?

      1. In an interiview he said that it’s not impossible that he’ll move to Ferrari again, but very unlikely.

    2. In that context it would be safer to move to Red Bull on a short contract with an option. Lotus would most likely take him back for 2015 is he wanted to.

  14. James Allison is moving to Ferrari it seems, so …. :)

    1. Really? That was unexpected!

      Perhaps Ferrari is starting to regret dumping the guy who actually delivered what Alonso still hasn’t managed?

      Frankly it would explain why some might consider the decision stupid (partnering with Alonso) as well as the cryptic message about engine manufacturers. From Ferrari’s perspective he would be perfect for closing in on the constructors title so in some ways it actually makes sense.

      What Ferrari could do to attract Kimi is hard to see as he would never back down to Fernando until the math would make the title impossible. And of course there is always the aspect of $$$ to consider.

      Feels like early Christmas :-)

      1. Yeah..Allison move has been confirmed by the looks of it.

        I dont think Ferrari will be regretting anything. I doubt there would be in a better position now if Kimi had stayed.

        I cant see Kimi going back to Ferrari, it would be great, but I doubt it. Ferrari need to dump Massa and give a drive to the likes of Bianchi or Hulk.

  15. Don’t forget who will have Honda engines in 2015. Long term gamble?

  16. People seem to be forgetting Kimi has already said he’ll NEVER go back to Ferrari, and I think his feelings toward McLaren are similar.

    As @hamilfan said, this is probably his last chance to go to the only other top team as RedBull seats don’t come along on a weekly basis.
    So IMO he has to decide wether he wants a crack in a RedBull (and go heads up with SV) or see his career out at Lotus.
    Think about it, the last place Alonso won a championship at was Enstone, everybody expected him to clean up after leaving there to go to Ferrari.
    Enstone is definitely a very attractive prospect for Kimi, they won’t force a multi year contract on him and he’s been competitive for a season and a half in their car now.

    1. Kimi has already said he’ll NEVER go back to Ferrari

      Never say never. I am not saying that he will move to Ferrari but:

      …I’ve been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes…
      …Whatever the decision will be might feel stupid to somebody…
      …It really depends if one engine manufacturer gets it right and one wrong…

      And the move of James Allison, it is looks like a slim possibility, doesn’t it?

      1. I agree, and it’s easier to sit down a couple of years later to discuss what caused the “never” statement and negotiate from there.

      2. Yes of course it looks a slim possibility. But talented as Allison undoubtedly is, he “only” headed a team of designers that are still at Lotus. The people that drew up the E20 and E21 are mostly still there.

        Oh, I didn’t say never, Kimi did ;)

  17. I Love the Pope
    26th July 2013, 4:59

    Kimi back at Ferrari?

    Now THAT would be an interesting move that many would consider stupid.

    I hope it happens.

  18. In my opinion, Kimi’s statement makes it crystal clear that he favours moving to Red Bull.

    If any team is going to tackle the new regulations properly, it’s going to be Newey.

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