Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez has revealed that Kimi Raikkonen will be staying with the team in 2013.
Rumours had been circulating that the Finnish driver was possibly set for a return to Ferrari to replace Felipe Massa. Then, with rumours that Lewis Hamilton could be leaving McLaren, Raikkongn was touted as being a possible replacement. However Lopez has now confirmed that Raikkonen has signed a contract with Lotus for the 2013 season.
“At least in the short term, Kimi is with us,” Lopez told Turun Sanomat. “We have an agreement that is based on performance, and it has been fulfilled.”
Lopez acknowledged, however, that a team should not “force anyone” to race its cars “if they don’t want to be with us”.
In that case, “Kimi wants to be here, as does Romain Grosjean,” the Luxembourgian entrepreneur insisted, “and we are happy with them too.”
Lopez said he has not been surprised by the McLaren and Ferrari rumours.
“No,” he answered. “This is F1. Sometimes the rumours are true, sometimes someone has just come up with it, based on nothing.”