Following Kimi Raikkonen’s decision to leave Lotus at the end of the season in favor of a return to Ferrari, his current team principal Eric Boullier has opted to look at the positives as he searches for a new driver to replace the Finn.
Raikkonen’s exit opens up a seat at Lotus for 2014, with Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa and Davide Valsecchi thought to be three drivers in the running. Further to that, Romain Grosjean’s three-race rolling contract means that his place at Enstone is by no means secure. For Boullier, although Raikkonen’s exit is a loss, it does give the team options.
“We are currently in discussion with a few people and will make a decision shortly,” Boullier told Lotus’ official website. “We are in the privileged position of being the most desirable team on the grid with a seat available, so we are therefore in no rush to announce anyone without establishing what will be the best for our team and the future.”
Boullier admitted that losing Raikkonen was a disappointment, but he is pleased to have played a part in the Finn’s comeback after he walked away from Formula One in 2009.
“Of course this is a disappointment to all of us, and we’re sure you will agree that Kimi has been nothing but brilliant since he joined us,” Boullier said. “In the same breath, Enstone has once again proven its pedigree; providing him with two great cars and making his return to Formula One a success.”