Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has said that both Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg are viable replacements for Kimi Raikkonen after the Finnish driver was confirmed as a Ferrari driver for 2014 yesterday.
Raikkonen re-joins Ferrari next season after leaving in 2009, and although this does see Lotus lose their star driver, Boullier is not short of options to join the team.
When asked whether Hulkenberg was an option by RMC Sport, Boullier said: “Of course, like all of the available drivers.
“Felipe Massa is also available, and so is obviously on the list. These are the drivers whose management we have had contact with.”
Romain Grosjean is also thought to be under pressure for next season given that he is on a three-race rolling contract. However, Boullier believes that he could assert himself as a team leader without Raikkonen.
“[For Grosjean] there is the possibility to build a team around him, and to prove on the track that he can be the leader of a team. It’s an opportunity to be seized. He must have a good finish to the championship; that’s for him to do to bring the team around him and position himself as a leader.”
Also thought to be vying for the seat is Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who won the GP2 championship last season.