Formula 1: Lotus battle to retain Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen: Red Bull target. Picture: AFP/Getty

Kimi Raikkonen: Red Bull target. Picture: AFP/Getty

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Lotus principal Eric Boullier insists his team are continuing to do all they can to persuade Kimi Raikkonen to stay.

The short break since the last race in Germany earlier this month has not provided any answers as to whom will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull at the end of this season. The only change to the situation is that Jean-Eric Vergne appears to have fallen by the wayside and it is now a two-horse race between the Frenchman’s Toro Rosso team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Red Bull have made it clear they hope to make an announcement by the end of next month, while Raikkonen has stated he is in no hurry to decide on his future.

Ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Boullier said: “It’s clear Lotus is a desirable place to be. We know there’s been a lot of talk about Kimi’s future, and we all know Kimi is an individual and he will make his decision in his own time. Naturally, we want him to continue in the sport and continue with Lotus, so we’re doing everything we can do to make that happen.”

This weekend marks the debut of Pirelli’s new tyres, which were given a workout over the three days of the young driver test at Silverstone last week.

Following a series of high-speed blowouts during the British Grand Prix, Pirelli was forced to revise its rubber. From this weekend, the tyres comprise last year’s construction with this year’s compounds, with Boullier believing the worst is behind Pirelli. He said: “Budapest will be the real test, but we’re confident we have enough data to say there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises.”

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