Date: 23rd August 2013 at 9:14am
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After all the speculation linking Kimi Raikkonen to Red Bull, Ferrari and even McLaren, Lotus are positive that they could yet persuade the Finn to stay.

It is a fair assumption that with the 2007 Formula One World Champion out-of-contract at the end of the season and with his manager openly revealing that he has held talks with Red Bull Racing that Kimi is open to changing teams ahead of the 2014 season.

Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle believes Raikkonen does want to leave Lotus, with either Red Bull or Ferrari seemingly the most viable options.

Raikkonen wants to compete for regular race victories and a second world title and leaving for Red Bull or Ferrari are the better bets to achieve that at the moment in time with McLaren struggling for performance this year and remaining in limbo for next season before switching from Mercedes to Honda power for 2015.

But of course the problem with joining Red Bull or Ferrari would be stepping into a team that already holds an established number one driver.

Kimi could walk into the Red Bull garage with Sebastian Vettel as a quadruple Formula One World Champion, winning four consecutive titles.

Whilst at Ferrari, the Maranello team ironically previously paid off Raikkonen with a cool £20million ahead of the arrival of Fernando Alonso.

But at Lotus, the team would be built around him and if they can persuade him that they will remain competitive he could opt to stay.

‘It’s all open and we are still talking to Kimi,’ Lotus team boss Eric Boullier told Sky Sports.

‘It doesn’t depend on his personal earnings, it’s more about the overall package. Kimi is not at the beginning of his career and he wants to win races and make sure we will be competitive enough to win and fight for podiums next year. This is what he is racing for – nothing else.

‘So we are working in the background to make sure he knows the complete package – technically but also financially because you need to have the resource to afford what you want to achieve – and everything is falling in place to make him reassured.’