Date: 22nd May 2013 at 8:21am
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Gerard Lopez, the owner of the Formula One Lotus team remains confident his team can keep Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the season.

Earlier this month the Lotus Formula One team were struck a heavy blow with James Allison stepping down as Lotus technical director.

Allison has been Lotus’s Technical Director since 2009 but has been heavily linked with the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams in the past.

He also holds close links to Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and his departure could signal the 2007 Formula One World Champion’s own departure from the Enstone team.

Kimi is out of contract at the end of the 2013 Formula One season and has been linked with a move to Red Bull for 2014.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has spoken publicly of his like for Raikkonen and that could be enough to persuade Red Bull that he’s the route to take if Mark Webber’s expected departure is confirmed.

But while Red Bull seem hot favourites to sign Kimi Raikkonen for 2014, Lotus also remain confident of keeping hold of their driver.

‘We know we want Kimi to drive for us next year, but then we also know Kimi’s character well, which means you can’t force him to do anything, I know he’s happy, and at this stage if he had to choose, I know where he would be.’ Lotus owner Gerard Lopez told Sky Sports.

‘The main thing about Kimi is he naturally wants a car to win, and he has got that with us, I know we’re giving him what he needs, and as long as we keep on doing that then he’ll stay with us. If he could find a better car somewhere else, and he had an option to go there, then I’m sure he would consider it.

‘But I know we’re giving him what he needs, and as long as we keep on doing that then he’ll stay with us.’

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