Niki Lauda, co-owner of Mercedes, advised the Red Bull team to secure the services of Kimi Raikkonen as soon as possible. The 2007 season champion returned to Formula One last year after a two-year hiatus in the US NASCAR racing series and the WRC World Rally Championship. The Lotus racer is only three points behind the leader in the overall standings in this year's championship, and he already secured the victory in the first race.
Red Bull Advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, as well as the owner of the Austrian energy drink factory and the Red Bull Racing team, Dietrich Mateschitz, have already expressed interest in Raikkonen's services, and at the end of this season the current champions are expected to vacate the seat currently held by Mark Webber. The Australian is expected to race for Porsche in the Le Mans series next season.
“It’s not a question of how I’m going to beat Kimi in my team,” said Eric Boullier, Lotus team boss. "The question is if he wants to stay."
Boullier believes the 33-year-old Raikkonen would have made a mistake if he left the favorable atmosphere of the Lotus team and moved to Red Bull, where he would have to fight Vettl. But Lauda says Red Bull should work to work with the "excellent" Finn. “Kimi is sensational, cold and is absolutely at the level of Vettl, Alonso and Hamilton,” the three-time world champion told German Bild. “Kimi is capable of fighting for titles. If I was in Red Bull shoes, and decided to change the racing lineup, I would definitely pick Raikkonen. He is by far the best racer available for next season, ”added Lauda.
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