Raikkonen wants to leave Lotus, says Whitmarsh

2014 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen has his sights set on leaving Lotus at the end of the year, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes.

However Whitmarsh denied Raikkonen has had any talks this year about returning to the team he drove for between 2002 and 2006.

“Last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn’t happen,” Whitmarsh told the official Formula One site. “This year we’ve had no talks – yet.”

“Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there,” he added.

Raikkonen was under consideration by Red Bull for the seat alongside Sebastian Vettel next year. But during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend Mark Webber indicated Daniel Ricciardo will get the drive.

Other rumours have linked Raikkonen to a return to Ferrari, who he won the world championship for in 2007.

Whitmarsh admitted McLaren have considered trying to lure back Raikkonen, who won nine races for the team: “Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment, so let’s see what happens. ”

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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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91 comments on “Raikkonen wants to leave Lotus, says Whitmarsh”

  1. “Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there,”

    That is quite a statement by Whitmarsh. Looks like he knows a lot more than the rumors that are floating around.

    Another thing I don’t understand is why is Kimi concerned so much about the money (Based on the roundup of articles)? Shouldn’t he be concerned be more about the competitiveness of the car?

    1. The correlation between how much money a team has and how well their cars perform is pretty strong. Lotus may look like a manufacturer-backed team but they aren’t. A recent assessment of F1 teams’ budgets by Dieter Rencken put Lotus’s at £130m per year – just over half that of top spenders Ferrari.

      1. @keithcollantine is it possible to get a link for those figures?

      2. Over half of Ferrari budget is poured by sponsors in Ferrari’s coffers. Ask how much is to put your brand on a Ferrari and how much is on another F1 manufacturer.

      3. It is quite sad looking at the state of affairs at F1 that a team like Lotus with good engineering talent is finding it hard to survive. If kimi leave them then they will be left without a top driver which will worsen their sponsor situation further.

        It is also shame that Renault is not willing to sponsor a lot into Lotus. They get their share of Popularity through Red Bull so they are kind of not concerned about their own brand marketing.

        Though choice for Bouiller . Will he pay Kimi or Will he invest the money to develop the car that Kimi needs ? If he pays Kimi then he cannot develop the car and Kimi leaves, If he develops the car he cannot of pay Kimi so again Kimi Leaves. Situation 2 is slightly better that is why he has taken that route becasue if Kimi wins WDC he might get a better sponsor backing atleast !!!!!

      4. @keithcollantine Wasn’t there a roundup article where Infiniti was going to rebadge the Renault motor and pay the customer bill to Renault in lieu of RBR and that Lotus were likely to become the Works team for them? I’ve not read much news on it in the past few weeks or months, but that would likely put Lotus in a better situation, monetarily speaking, for next year.

        1. This seems to make sense. But lets not forget that it’s based mostly on rumours… What I’ve read in the near past:
          – Kimi wanting better deal with Renault
          – Lotus seeking for a long term main sponsor deal
          – Renault using RBR to promote its Infinity brand
          – Lotus keeping Grosjean
          – Grosjean already backed by Total, which has been tied with Renault for years and years (corporate level – stock relations also?)
          – French team for french drivers and sponsors. Prost jr needs a seat soon :)

      5. That’s a pretty good point. If a team can afford to pay Kimi the outrageous amount of money he asks, it’s a good indication of a financially secured team with a big budget.

        1. @jonathan102 in the Lotus case since they have not been able to afford to pay Kimi the money it’s the clearest indication yet that the team’s finances are very ropey.

    2. it’s still a workplace and no one drives for free. Also Kimi has his own rally team so I guess the money part isn’t unimportant for him.

      1. Motorcross team, Ice1racing.

        1. Wasn’t there also an F3 team: Raikkonen Robertson Racing?

        2. @deurmat right, my bad – Ice 1 Racing was the name of the rally team back then and became the name of the motocross team.

    3. Yes, obviously Whitmarsh knows more than us and more than the media. And to be honest, it’s pretty much obvious Kimi is “determined” to leave. When Reporters Ask him if he has had talks with other Teams, ‘Boom’ he immediately has something to say, something new to give us.
      Ask him about staying at Lotus and he’ll talk between his teeth.
      And to tell you the truth he has no future in Lotus. He doesn’t get his salary on time (which is something important for him, considering he has his own Rally Team) and the car is “Okay”, I’m not gonna say slow BUT it’s just never enough. Look at Grosjean, in Hungary he was close to Sebastian (most of the time) but it was again not enough to overtake him. We’ve seen the same thing in other races. ( I think it was Barcelona. Correct me if i’m wrong)
      And Kimi’s win in Australia?? That was purely a Strategic benefit. Look at Lotus, they have Budget limitation problems and at every single GP somehow they bring new parts and still that’s not enough.
      It’s just never enough with Lotus.

    4. Kimi might have put all his money from Ferrari into Nokia shares or other investments that have been adversely effected by the roll on from the GFC, if so the money is very important.

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      27th August 2013, 14:08

      I’m sure Kimi is concerned about the car but why should he drive for free? It’s all fine saying that he has enough money etc but why should he sit in press conferences etc as well if he isn’t going to get paid? Oh right…. haha he didn’t. :D

    6. The reason Kimi is most concerned about the money is having a car that can win races. Still, everyone who works a job expects to be paid. Everyone. If Lotus can’t pay Kimi, that is one more sign of limited resources to develop the car. If Kimi is not being paid by Lotus on his contract he is showing a lot of restraint and class by not blasting them in the press daily as surely some drivers would do. I think he would like to stay at Lotus if they can demonstrate they have the resources to keep him there.

    7. Kimi is after financial stability because he knows that to have a winning car a healthy budget is required . I do not think he is after much more money for himself than he is already getting. Both Boullier and Lopez have stated that in order for Lotus to continue to be with the top teams they need a different than the present financial environment, that translates into massive investment. They are trying to put a package together with Renault and Infinity Racing that would provide such an environment, and Kimi will be a big part of the team’s plans. Boulier stated that both matters will be probably resolved by Monza, where he expects to announce that Kimi renewd his contract with the team. Without healthy finances, Lotus will follow the course of this and last year’s. Promise at the start, phasing out in the middle, and fizzing out by season’s end. There is no way they can reverse this path without an infusion of capital. Kimi knows what makes a winning team, so he simply waits for all the pieces to come together. If they do not, there is no point staying at Lotus, other than hoping for an opening with a big team in 2015.

    8. I’ve heard from a very close source to Raikonnen that, Raikonnen doesn’t really enjoy F1 (he likes the racing but not like he used to like it, he especially hates the whole media thing about it) and he just does it for the money. He left F1 before to go after another one of his passions. He didn’t succeed there and came back for the money.

  2. Interesting to hear that Whitmarsh was considering signing Kimi last year. Its sad they jumped the gun with signing Perez, I thought Mclaren would be a much stronger team this year if they had signed either Hulkenberg or Raikkonen .. or maybe both

    1. Now a line up consisting of Kimi and Hulkenberg would be brilliant! If McLaren had these two drivers teamed up with a competitive car, they’ll be in very good shape! Sadly, I can’t see that happening unless Perez has an awful year or two and Jenson finally calls it quits or gets let go.

      1. that pair could always happen at lotus maybe

      2. Why Hulkenburg? If Perez comes good and Jenson continues as a safe pair of hands that’s a heck of a line-up for 2014 – a year in which there will be no certainties with all the rule changes. Why does anyone think Hulkenburg is any good? He didn’t shine this past weekend and he really hasn’t won much full stop in other series, at least, he’s not head & shoulders above anyone else..

        Finally if McLaren provided a competitive car the CURRENT line – up would be very strong….!
        Both drivers, I believe, being let down by poor Team decisions in 2013 let alone a wayward car design.

        1. Hulkenberg is not shining this year because he is driving an awful car. Nonetheless he scored points and he is dominating the team mate battle. In his first year he got a pole position with a Williams and last year he was fighting for a victory (in a Force India) before the accident with Hamilton.
          He won a lot in the lower series, much more than Perez. I think that Hulkenberg is one of the most succesful drivers in the lower series we have in F1 at the moment.

          So, yes, I think that Hulkenberg was a much better choice than Perez.

          1. Oh, I don’t doubt that for a moment, but I was responding to a comment or comments that had Hulkenburg replacing Jenson Button! That didn’t make much sense to me…

          2. How many more podiums does Hulkenberg have in F1 compared to Perez?

          3. @rjoconnel

            Thats a bit cynical. Perez’s podiums were a result of poor qualifying, good strategy and a better than average car. Apart from the Malaysian GP (which was a bit a throw of the dice due to weather), the two other podiums he had, he qualified outside the top 10. The Sauber was quick on its day and was gentle on tyres.

            This is not take anything away from Checo, he is quick on his day, but he is a bit reminiscent of Massa, lacks the composure and conistency that Hulkenberg offers. Hulkenberg needs to be in a top car to show us what he can do. His results in lower formulae is very impressive, and his performances in F1 to date have been very composed and consistent.

            I still think he is going to Ferrari next year. Why? Because he is managed by Willi Weber, who has strong ties with Ferrari from his days as Schumi’s manager.

            Going by Massa’s post on the Ferrari website, it appears that he is delusional. His performances have significantly petered off this year, to finish where he did in Spa, didnt do justice to the pace of his car. There seems to be less support for him this year compared to last, he has to be on his way out. If he has another poor performance in Monza, my bet is that the knives will be out. Keeping him on at Ferrari is actually detrimental to Alonso’s title chances, Massa doesnt take enough points off rivals.

          4. @jaymenon10

            I still think he is going to Ferrari next year. Why? Because he is managed by Willi Weber

            Actually they parted ways over two years ago:

            Nico Hulkenberg splits from manager Willi Weber

        2. @baron

          He didn’t shine this past weekend and he really hasn’t won much full stop in other series

          He was one place away from Q3…and really?

        3. […] he really hasn’t won much full stop in other series, at least, he’s not head & shoulders above anyone else…


          Reminds me of, I don’t know, a guy called Lewis Hamilton.

          Also, he’s set pole in a Williams and led a race with a chance of winning it in a Force India after losing out on a race seat for a year due to the guy he’s beaten in GP2 arriving with heaps of cash. Additionally, he’s rather consistent. What’s not to like?

          1. For the record, I really like Hülkenberg too, and I’m sad to see all the cynics were right about his move to Sauber. I was hoping their form from 2012 would continue on and Hülkamania would run wild on the podium a few times. The fact that he single-handedly almost got Force India to a win and 6th in the Constructors’ Championship at Brazil is a testament to his talent, as is his in-house domination at Sauber this year – plus, if he’s not finishing in the points, he’s still just maybe 1 or 2 places out at most.

            But Pérez was grabbing more of the headlines because he could have realistically won two races for Sauber, Sepang and Monza…and that’s what gets noticed more. By the time Hülkenberg got on his 2nd-half hot streak, scoring 32 points in five of his last six races, the Perez and Hulkenberg deals for 2013 were already set in stone.

        4. perez is a limited driver – button does not have the drive-
          button has talent but he needs the desire to win.
          Vettle has that desire, even after 3 titles.
          I want some one other than vettle to win, but he keeps winning.

    2. Hulkenberg?? Why?? Perez is by far a better and more Aggresive driver.

    3. @todfod

      You are assuming that Raikkonen would want to go back to Mclaren. Kimi hated Mclaren’s rigid culture, just as much he hated Ferrari’s politics. Mclaren would have to offer Kimi a lot of money to have him drive for them again!

      1. Kimi hated Mclaren’s rigid culture

        He actually had problems with Ron Dennis and his constant reign over the drivers. The team has changed considerably since Ron’s departure.

  3. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    27th August 2013, 10:18

    Wonder how JB will feel when he reads this. Whitmarsh isn’t exactly making it sound like he isn’t interested.

    1. Excited that he may have someone to push him. Can imagine he would get on really well with Kimi

    2. It might just be a play to get JB unsettled as well since McLaren have not picked up the option on his contract, iirc.

    3. Yeah, it’s kind of hard to add it up to anything other than Whitmarsh wants Raikkonen instead of Button. Button doesn’t seem the type to respond well to mind games like holding out his contract for no reason (come to think of it, does anyone really respond well to games like that?) With the shambles F1’s finances are in, it’s looking like even the top teams can’t afford two first-rate drivers. Raikkonen’s the better driver most of the time, so with him in the first car, they could keep Perez’s money and count on consistent results.
      (This is all just worthless speculation, of course. But that’s what the internet’s for.)

    4. Kimi is well respected within the McLaren team. I can’t remember when it was, but during a race when Kimi made a pass the camera switched to the McLaren mechanics that were cheering for him. He is a great driver and no doubt the management rate him highly too. But I am glad that he has been at Lotus considering McLaren’s performances recently. They have so many resources and great potential, I just think they need to change the “culture” (for the lack of a better term) within the team in order to improve their track operations, etc. They clearly have the potential to design good cars, but they seem to lose it with silly errors and such

  4. Reports suggest that Kimi wasn’t payed in a while and the Thursday boycott seems to confirm this.
    That’s why I don’t get Boullier – if he wants him to stay then the first thing is to pay him and not try to defer payments as much as possible. Lotus is in a tight space money-wise, so it seems they simply can’t afford Kimi.

    Imo – a move to Ferrari or RBR is still possible despite the latest reports.

    1. A move to Ferrari is indeed Possible. I’m not trying to create more Rumors, or more questions to our answers. BUT, considering what RBR and Kimi said to the Media, Kimi is in my opinion more likely to move to Ferrari. RBR said in a way, their way, that they kind of, don’t want Kimi, let’s say, and on the other hand Kimi says he hasn’t had “talks” with RBR in a while. At the same time Kimi is starting to have talks with Ferrari and rumors are constantly growing.

      1. It was weird that Helmut Marko had said that the decision they’ll make is for the “medium term”; when he said that it led me to think of them signing Kimi. Maybe things have changed since then but I would have thought RIC would be a long term option.

  5. Martin is being a bit of a Captain Obvious here – tell us something we don’t know. (Although perhaps Whitmarsh saying Kimi won’t succeed is unexpected, it’s probably more of Martin making an educated guess than actually knowing anything).

    I see this more as a thinly veiled message for Jenson Button, who tried to cause mischief with his comments about not having a McLaren contract for 2014 yet. That said, Jenson has already stated a firmer verbal commitment to staying with McLaren, so this message may well have already achieved its purpose.

    1. If I was JB and we’d reached this part of the season without a commitment for next year – I probably would have been a little more forceful than that!

      Logistically, they have to totally fend (and pay) for themselves (and their entourage) out of their “fees” so it’s a little more complicated than it appears for any driver.. Only the car and team gets paid for and organised – the driver pays for himself and his personal entourage. Quite unlike the rock and roll industry.

  6. Money is one factor, competiton is another. As usual, Lotus drop the ball in 2nd half of the season.

    To make it worse, their racing operation squad is full of those incompetence bunches. I.E, not sending kimi for additional lap in Q3 when the track was drying at Spa. And numerous race strategy screw up for not able to undercut or react to others that did so. Kimi often ended up losing places everytime he pitted.

    Engine issues. Gonna be a dominant factor for 2014. Work team gonna has a final say on the engine specification while customer can only receive what rbr has decided.

  7. Why is he throwing grenades in Raikkonen and Lotus’s direction? Does he think Button is going somewhere?

  8. Whitmarsh denying a move to McLaren.
    See you in McLaren 2014 Kimi!

  9. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    27th August 2013, 10:57

    As much as I hate to say it, you can’t really fault Raikkonen. Lotus has budget issues and a massive amount of ‘debt’, however they want to label it. They’ve been late on some payments to Kimi, and seem to be late again. They also lack a top-shelf technical director, which I am sure Kimi is also concerned with. I remember reading an article that he was really upset when James Allison left. Without a solid technical director, but with a large amount of debt, I can’t see them setting the world on fire with the E22. At 33 years old, Kimi has 6 or 7 years left, at the most. It’s now or never if he wants at least one more championship.

    1. Unfortunatley, I don’t think he will get another one.

    2. I would say Kimi has more like three or four years left at most – unless you’re Michael Schumacher, the majority of drivers retire around 36, 37, which Schuey was when he initially retired.

      As solid as Lotus may be, he has a desire to be with a title contending outfit asap, and the money is naturally a big factor.

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        27th August 2013, 13:08

        I don’t disagree with you at all. I went with the higher end for years left. If he stays at Lotus or another team, and isn’t at least competitive over the next year or two, I could easily see him retire sooner than 3 or 4 years.

  10. I’m surprised that someone as high profile as Whitmarsh is openly commenting on something like this. However I think he’s right. It looks like that unless Red Bull have a change of heart, Kimi’ll be a Lotus driver next year. Mercedes are happy with their driver line-up and there’s nothing to suggest that Rosberg would be dropped for Raikkonen. Ferrari don’t want two cockerels in the hen house, so even if Massa is dropped for 2014 Kimi is unlikely to replace him, and Alonso doesn’t look like leaving. That leaves McLaren as the last big team that could theoretically take him. Button is doing well at the team as number 1 and Perez is just settling in. Would Whitmarsh jettison one of his current drivers to have Kimi back? I don’t think so.

    So unless Kimi wants to drive for a midfield team it looks like he simply doesn’t have any viable options now.

    1. fully agree with you mate – it looks all but certain that he’ll stay at Lotus now, which is a shame because I would have loved to see him in a Red Bull and it doens’t look too likely he’ll be in a stronger title challenging position for the next year or two at least. Kimi’s F1 career could be over in a few years (through retirement).

    2. If LDM says Massa has to go then it’s likely Hulk or Kimi gets the gig. If ALO has enough pull left then Massa will stay put because all other options would probably mean a tougher challenge for him.

      However I don’t take the RIC to RB move for granted until it’s officially announced. Vettel switch to RB was announced much earlier back then in 2008. So this waiting around indicates they really haven’t made up their minds yet (just a speculation though).

      1. I didn’t think Vettel was a foregone conclusion until his Monza win…

        1. @optimaximal He was announced on the Belgian weekend, before Italy.

          1. @tmf42 – Oh, I thought it was later, thanks for the correction!

          2. And it’s interesting to see the opinions on his car (and on the way Hamilton started his career) back then, contrasting that with the “STR was just a really fast car” nonsense you get today.

          3. yeah – it’s funny to read these old articles (and comments) knowing what people say today.

    3. Remember Massa doesn’t have a contract and is more likely to leave. At the same time Kimi is talking with Ferrari. In my view, its Ferrari or Lotus for 2014.

      1. I think if he were to come to Ferrari, he’d have to come as a number two to Alonso. Being such an established, talented driver I can’t see him agreeing to that, or Alonso being pleased about having such a competitive team mate.

  11. Another option for Kimi is just to walk away from F1 if he does not secure the deal he believes would be right for him. He wants a car that can win championships so I would be very surprised if he stays at Lotus for another season. Ferrari is a no go although I think they were in talks just before the summer break, remember how upset Fernando was? I do not think his demeanour was just about the car under performing! Christian Horner and Adrian Newey would sign him in a second but I believe Kimis wage demands and Helmet Marko have all but secured Daniel the drive. Although Horner appears to be waiting for the official word from Mateschitz when he returns from holiday. Martin Whitmarsh is a huge fan of Kimi Raikkonen remember he even tried to sign him when he left Ferrari, again wage demands and the deal fell through. So it would appear from the article that Mclaren are interested in signing him but what about the money Perez brings to the team versus Kimis wage demands? Personally I think Raikkonen is one of the most naturally talented racers of his generation and I hope he remains in F1 but it is looking less and less likely.

  12. As said before, these are quite some comments from someone in such a position as Whitmarsh. I really don’t think there’ll be any change to McLaren’s line-up next season – Button’s doing a good job, and Perez is learning and has shown to be competitive. It would be funny if Raikkonen was lined up with Perez though considering their history.
    Has anyone thought of this scenario – Raikkonen really wants to leave Lotus, but doesn’t succeed in moving teams so leaves F1 again?

    1. That is quite a scenario! BUT We still don’t know if Massa is goint to leave, which in my opinion he has already left. Ferrari cannot afford to keep him another year. And at the same time Kimi is having talks with the Maranello Guys. My opinion?
      Ferrari is a serious player.

  13. The more I think about this, the more I believe that Red Bull should really try to sign Kimi and give that seat to Ricciardo in 1-2 years when Kimi leaves. Next year with the regulation changes, every team needs drivers that can wrestle any car to points (as Hamilton and Alonso can and I am not a fan either, but that’s the truth). If Ferrari indeed signs Kimi along Alonso they would have a much serious shot on WCC. Losing WCC (or enhanced risk of it) for Red Bull should cost more than extra salary for Kimi. Also he is a established brand and at the moment his laconic attitude is considered cool by media, so should offset his less PR work demand.

    Also remembering 2008, if Kimi, then defending champion, was ready to play a supporting role to Massa because after half season he was ahead on points, why should he feel so bad to play second fiddle to Alonso or Vettel, as long as at least till crunching time he gets the equal treatment?

    Bottom line, unless Kimi’s demands are not too high for Red Bull, they should just sign him!

    1. Very good point…

  14. Its seems that a storm might be cooking at Mclaren,the fact that Button orchestrate 2 high profile interview with Sky to let it be known he is out of contract,speak volumes.Witmarsh and co used their there manipulated result between Button and Lewis, to convince the board that Button is just as good.now that Lewis has gone, the team he went to merc has improved as much as Mclaren has declined.so if you are an investor or a board member at mclaren,the cock and bull story of reaching develpment curve aint gonna cut it.If A CEO leaves a company and their stock price drops by 30% and the company he goes to suddenly surpasses his old company and has gained as much, but more over the CEO,thats Lewis in this metaphor maintains his productivity ie pole podiums and wins,then if nothing else has change at Mclaren its quit clear the problem is Button.not good enough .Mclaren is on course to lose atleast 50million in lost revenue due to poor results.The bosse cant ignore that,even though Witmarsh is inamored with Button

    1. If anything McLaren would ditch Perez rather than Button. Although its good for them to let Button know that they do in fact have other options should he be pushing it too much in his demands.

      1. @BasCB I completely agree with that, Button offers both stability and quality, he is the reason why McLaren is now ahead of Force India in the standings. He might not be the best driver on the grid but I think he is still one of the 5 or 6 best drivers, who can fight for the championship with the right car. I’m not so sure if I can say the same about Perez though.

        For sure, no one is irreplaceable and Martin Whitmarsh probably wanted to remind Button that as well as take the chance to sting his competitors (“Poor Lotus, who cannot give Kimi a winning car and poor Kimi, who is forced to stick with them”).

  15. Lotus should back Lotus F1. and Renault as their engine supplier should back them more than just a engine supplier. I hope this new financial deal gets closed soon and gets them on level footing financially with RBR, Ferrari and Merc…but they still need a highly rated technical principal.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      27th August 2013, 14:02

      (Group) Lotus did initially pay them but when the money ran out the team still carried on with all the branding.

    2. I don’t think Lotus the car company has much money to spend either… If we look at the past, after colin chapman Lotus always has been a smaller team trying to be on top… wich is pretty much the position they are now… It always has been a team “almost” as good as the top teams

  16. Either Whitmarsh is being unguardedly honest or he’s putting public makers out to manipulate. It’s difficult to tell, to be honest.

    Button isn’t Hamilton, and isn’t setting the world on fire all day every day, but he’s reliable, fast, will fight hard by times and capable of winning. I think any of the top teams would be happy to have him, honestly. Button’s major weakness is one lap pace, but Kimi has been beaten by Grosjean on that front this year. The team said earlier this year he had a job for life, and he hasn’t made any mistakes since. So I don’t think Martin intends to get rid of Button. Perez is still to prove himself in many ways, but has potential. I think based on previous experience McLaren will give a rookie two years at least, like they did with heikki.

    So why make reference to almost getting kimi last year? Maybe to undermine lotus, or maybe to give perez a reminder that he’s not in a golden seat yet. I’d lean towards the latter.

    1. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
      27th August 2013, 14:14

      “but Kimi has been beaten by Grosjean on that front this year”

      What do you meanby stating that?
      Kimi leads Romain 8-3 in qualifying.

    2. Whilst Button may be a pair of safe hands, in this current climate a team needs a driver that can take it to the next level. Button simply isn’t that driver. He is no “safer” than Webber, though much safer than Massa. Unfortunately, unless McLaren make the kind of step forward in relation to other teams a la 2009 Brawn, i can’t see Button winning any championships with them. McLaren needs a top tier driver to come in and rejuvenate/revitalise the team. Kimi is the only driver available at this moment, and if he isn’t signed, then Macca will have consigned themselves to mediocrity or at best also rans for quite a while to come.

    3. I think that at this point Macca isn’t as interested in a WDC as they are WCC. I seriously doubt that Perez is the man for the job.

    4. Or, his remarks are meant for the ears of some Mexican tycoon who has not come up with the money yet but who got the driver’s seat for Perez. It is sad that Kimi is used by other teams to settle matters with their drivers (Ferrari-Alonso) or with sponsors and potential sponsors.

  17. I would love to see Kimi partnered with Jenson. What a combo that would be. Sadly I doubt McLaren would ditch Perez with his massive financial backing.

    1. On the other hand, McLaren must be getting impatient to become constructor champions again. As you said, maybe they’ll keep Perez for 2014, and when Honda comes back in 2015 they’ll go all out and sign another world champion.

    2. Well, we still don’t know who their title sponsor will be next year, but Whitmarsh did state that they will have a new title sponsor next year. Will it be telmex or someone else? If it’s not telmex, maybe Perez might be shown the door. Who knows.

  18. “Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there”

    That’s a strange sentence. If Kimi is truly “determined” to leave Lotus then that is a goal he can easily succeed in. I get the impression that Kimi wants to leave Lotus – just as long as he can get a huge pile of money for doing so. He probably figures that if LH is worth twenty million euro, he is worth that much as well. If so that explains why negotiations have broken down with Red Bull. Even Vettel is on a fairly low base salary at RB and while it’s believed he made around twelve million euro last year, much of that was in bonuses for winning races, scoring podiums, and winning the WDC. If that pay structure is unacceptable to Kimi – and it sounds as if it is – then the deal is off for good. No way RB will pay anyone more than their three (four?) time champion driver.

    1. If I were RBR I’d pay whatever asks for Kimi in an instant. Next year will be unknown territory and you want the best you can get. To wit: Experience.

  19. If you look closely you can see Kimi’s nipple in this picture.

    1. that was funny, we need guys like you in this world

    27th August 2013, 18:52

    It must be disappointing for Kimi when he does such a great job and his paychecks do not show up in his bank account as agreed. He knows Lotus does not have the money to win championships. He hated driving for Ferrari. So, that leaves RedBull as his first choice. He is good friends with Vettel. I read that Team RedBull spends $360 million USD every year on their entire operation. Kimi once was the highest paid driver at $45 million USD for one season of racing. I would guess that RedBull does not want to pay and also upset the soon to be 4 in a row World Champion, Sebastian Vettel.

  21. Raikkonen and Perez sounds better than Button and Perez on paper, but Kimi is not going to help the team in terms of development. Having two old geezers like Button and Kimi doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.

  22. I read this has an indirect invitation to Raikkonen. Saying “the door is open” for him to join Mclaren. Don’t know if its serious or just to put the Mclaren name on the same level as the current more desirable teams. I would say there’s truth in both sides of this reasoning.

    1. I’m thinking of re branding “silly season” to “stupid season.” What a game they have with fans and each other over the signing of one driver.

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