Eric Boullier has responded to growing rumours that Lotus could be set to lose Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari.
After a weekend of speculation that he could be Ferrari’s best option to replace the struggling Felipe Massa, Finn Raikkonen on Sunday hinted that his spat with Luca di Montezemolo might not be too big an obstacle.
“Things probably could have gone a nicer way in the end but life goes on and you never know what happens in the future,” said the team’s 2007 title winner.
Until now, it was thought Raikkonen was on a two-year contract at Lotus. Team boss Boullier is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3: “There are always a lot of rumours. We have a two-year contract with Kimi, but as in every agreement, there are always options.
“I believe Kimi is happy here,” said the Frenchman, “and I do not believe that his experience with Ferrari was the best one.”
Boullier thinks Raikkonen would be wiser to stay at Lotus in 2013.
“Being with Grosjean is certainly easier than Alonso. I can’t see why Kimi would want to be the second driver at Ferrari when he has the chance to be the number one here.”
What the Hungaroring rumours have proved is that Brazilian Massa’s position at Ferrari is definitely in doubt.
“Felipe knows very well that these are some important races for him,” boss Stefano Domenicali said after Sunday’s Hungarian grand prix.
As for Raikkonen, Domenicali said he has “always had the opinion” that the Finn is a “very special driver”.
Massa was asked by Brazil’s Globo if the new rumours are a worry.
“For sure the first part of the season was not very positive for me, but I feel better today than then,” he answered. “The situation with my contract is not clear and I have nothing to say.”
McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, utterly rubbished rumours Jenson Button might be yet another name on Ferrari’s shortlist.
“Total bollocks,” he insisted.