Boullier optimistic he can keep Raikkonen at Lotus

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is confident that he can keep Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for 2014 despite advances from Red Bull for the Finnish driver.

Following Mark Webber’s decision to retire from Formula One at the end of the season, Red Bull have been seeking a replacement for the Australian driver and have narrowed their shortlist down to Raikkonen and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo. In pursuit of a second world championship, Raikkonen’s reasons for leaving Lotus would be evident as Red Bull have dominated the sport for the last three-and-a-half years. However, Boullier is confident that he can offer Raikkonen a better working environment.

“I’m very optimistic. There is a lot of discussion in the press, most of it is irrelevant. It is all about making Kimi comfortable enough to stay and happy to stay. Part of it is done,” Boullier said on the James Allen podcast.

“He knows the team and the environment. Now it’s about building up the right package. He will then take his decision.”

The trade-off for Raikkonen in his decision is clear. Red Bull may be able to offer him a more competitive car, but he would have to contend with Sebastian Vettel as a teammate which, as Mark Webber has proven this season, is by no means an easy task. Furthermore, Red Bull tend to undertake a great deal of promotional work with their drivers, something Raikkonen tends to distance himself from.

Therefore, staying at Lotus may be the more sensible option, although he may be less capable of challenging for a second world title.

IMSA results, points, stats package after Sunday at Road America

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Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor delivered Team Penske’s first victory this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, winning at Road America from the pole position Sunday and moving up to sixth in points after finishing no better than seventh in the first three races this season.

The Team Penske No. 7 Acura DPi led a race-high 48  of 63 laps, including the final four after Castroneves seized a restart to take first from Renger van der Zande, who finished second with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi.

Other class winners at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course were the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 of Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in LMP2, the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in GTLM and the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in GTD.

RAIN-SOAKED RELIEF: Castroneves delivers Penske’s first win with late pass

Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America:


RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: In the DPi standings, the No. 10 Cadillac of Briscoe and van der Zande leads by six points (124-118) over the No. 5 Cadillac of Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais.

The No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor leads the GTLM standings with 130 points, 10 more than the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

In GTD, the No. 12 Lexus of Bell and Montecalvo moved into the lead by four points (121-117) over AIM Vasser Sullivan teammates Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in the No. 14 Lexus.

The No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsport leads in LMP2.

Click here for the points standings for drivers and teams after Road America.

STATS PACKAGE FOR ROAD AMERICA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT classes will race Aug. 21-22 at Virginia International Raceway.