Aug.26 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Gerard Lopez has admitted Renault is involved in Lotus’ push to keep Kimi Raikkonen at the team in 2014.
It has been rumoured the Finn is pushing hard for a closer collaboration between Enstone based Lotus and Renault, who are reportedly looking for more exposure given world champion team Red Bull’s ever-closer ties to Infiniti.
Team owner Lopez on Sunday said Lotus has made “progress” regarding the talks with Raikkonen.
“We understand what Kimi is waiting for,” he is quoted by Russia’s f1news.ru.
Asked if he is talking about his unpaid salary, Lopez answered: “No, I mean the technical side.
“He is interested in what our relationship will be with Renault next year, things like that. The chances that he will stay are very high. I really believe in it.
“The financial side is not a problem. What we are discussing is options that will allow us to establish a closer collaboration with Renault. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Asked, however, if any deal between Lotus and Renault for 2014 exists already, Lopez admitted: “Not yet.
“This is all part of the negotiation process. I think it will happen soon enough.”
Meanwhile, the latest wild rumour as the F1 paddock packed up at Spa late on Sunday was that Fernando Alonso could be poised to move his backing by the Spanish bank Santander from Ferrari to Lotus in 2014.
Niki Lauda, however, urged the Spaniard to focus on the task at hand.
“All his whining and complaining about the Ferrari just discourages the whole team,” the triple world champion said on German television RTL on Sunday.