Silverstone: Kimi Raikkonen has suddenly found his stock on the rise since Mark Webber announced he's leaving Formula One after this season. But Raikkonen insisted on Thursday that his attention for the moment was fixed firmly on this weekend's British Grand Prix and getting back on the podium.
Webber said earlier in the day he will give up his seat at Red Bull to drive on the sports car circuit next year. That immediately prompted questions about who will replace him at F1's leading team. Raikkonen, at Lotus, said he "still doesn't have an answer" on what he will do next year though he hinted he would enjoy driving with his good friend Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull and that the team - which has won the last three constructors' championship - would be hard to pass up.
Raikkonen also has had a past relationship with Red Bull, which was a sponsor for his past teams including Sauber and Ferrari. "I think you always want to try and get the best car," he said. "Obviously, they have shown they have had the best package for the last three years. I don't think you can go much stronger."
The 2007 world champion won the Australian GP and had three second-place finishes to be second to Vettel in the drivers' championship.
Still, he admitted it would be a "difficult decision" choosing between Red Bull and returning to Lotus which gave him a second chance in 2011 after he left the series to try his hand in the World Rally Championship. "It's been perfect. Without them, obviously I wouldn't be back in Formula One," he said. "For sure, they have gotten something good out of it. I have no complaints. Obviously, there are certain things that have to improve. I've had a great time with the team so far."
The 2007 world champion won the Australian Grand Prix in March and had three second-place finishes to be second to Vettel in the drivers' championship. However, the Finn has struggled in the past two races, failing to finishing in the top five and slipping to third in the standings - 44 points behind Vettel.
"I don't think it's our true speed what happened in the last two races," Raikkonen said. "We had some problems with other drivers in Monaco and the last race we had some brake issues. Without those issues, we would have scored much more points. It happened. If we use our normal speed and get things working right, we should be much stronger." Undaunted, Raikkonen said the title race was very much alive and that Lotus can be competitive at Silverstone.
"Obviously, it's not ideal. But we can only try to improve the situation," he said. "If we can improve a lot and there are problem for the others, it can change quickly the positions. There is still a lot of racing to go this year and we cannot lose much more points. There is no time to give up and we will keep fighting until we see it's not possible."