Kimi Raikkonen admits he will face a difficult decision if he has to choose between Red Bull and Lotus for the 2014 Formula 1 season.
It is believed that Raikkonen was on Red Bull's shortlist as a new teammate for Sebastian Vettel even before Mark Webber announced he will leave Formula 1 at the end of 2013 to join Porsche's new LMP1 program. Raikkonen's contract with Lotus expires at the end of the year, and he insisted he is yet to decide on his plans, but hinted it will be a tough call.
"Whatever the decision, it will not be easy, but it is never easy," said Raikkonen at Silverstone ahead of this weekend's British GP. "It is not the first time that there are different options on the table, and then you take the one that you think is right at that moment. So it is hard to say if it is the right or wrong decision and you have to live with it. Only you can make the decision yourself."
Raikkonen said Webber's announcement changed nothing for him.
"I still don't have an answer for what will happen next year, it hasn't changed in the last two races," he said. "Obviously, people will be talking about the chances more but it doesn't really change what I will do next year or what my decisions are – even if there is an open place."
He added: "I have no contract, which is normal in F1. I have nothing to inform people until there is something certain on paper and I will tell immediately because then everyone stops asking the same question. But until I have something done I cannot answer."
LOTUS ATMOSPHERE "PERFECT"
Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, returned to F1 with Lotus last year after a two-year hiatus, and he finished the championship in third place. This season, he has already won a race and is third in the standings. The 33-year-old said the atmosphere at Lotus has been exactly what he wanted.
"It has been perfect. Without them I wouldn't be back in F1," he said. "For sure they also got some good things out of it, so I've no complaints. There are certain things that have to improve, but I have had a great time with the team so far. That is why whatever the decision will be will be difficult."
Raikkonen admitted that his freedom at Lotus is an important consideration.
"It is one of the key points," he said. "Obviously, you want to have a good car and certain things have to be right, but there are a lot of small things that have to be right for yourself. I've been around the business long enough to know what I want – and if those things are not right, then the decision might be different."