Kimi Raikkonen wants to stay with Lotus, team principal says

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Story highlights

  • Kimi Raikkonen wants to stay with Lotus and Lotus wants to keep him, said his team
  • Raikkonen has been linked with former employer Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull
  • Raikkonen's manager said Lotus "holds the key" to the Finn's future
  • Raikkonen is bidding to win his fifth Belgian Grand Prix as the season resumes this weekend

Kimi Raikkonen wants to stay with Lotus, the Formula One team's boss said amid claims the former world champion is targeting a return to Ferrari.

The Finn's future has been a hot topic of discussion during the mid-season break, which comes to an end with this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen has also been linked with a move to Red Bull, although reports suggest Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo is set to become reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel's No. 2 when Mark Webber leaves at the end of this season.

Read: Red Bull trying to land Raikkonen

Raikkonen sits second in the individual standings in 2013, behind Vettel.

"Kimi wants to stay with us," Lotus team principal Eric Boullier told CNN. "We want to keep Kimi. There are a lot of teams who (would) like to have Kimi on board now.

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"It's up to him to choose what he wants to do. We know what he wants. We will do everything that we can to get what he wants. We need to make him just happy to stay. So far he wants to stay so we'll see."

    Boullier's comments appeared to be echoed by the 33-year-old's manager Steve Robertson.

    He told Autosport that Lotus was in pole position and would hang on to Raikkonen -- provided he has a car that can compete for a world title.

    It contradicted another report Monday that stated Raikkonen was seeking a return to Ferrari, where he won his lone world championship in 2007.

    "Lotus holds the key to Raikkonen's future," Robertson told Autosport. "If the team can provide him with the answers he is seeking, which will ensure he has a car that can fight for race wins and the championship, then he will stay."

    Raikkonen didn't answer any questions about his future Thursday because he was ill and missed his media briefing ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Lotus said.

    Read: Button wins 2012 Belgian Grand Prix

    He is seeking a fifth victory at the famed Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

    "I bet every driver likes Spa and I have so many good memories there," Raikkonen told Lotus' official website Wednesday. "For me it's the greatest circuit in the world and it has been my favorite place since my first ever visit there in 2000 with Formula Renault.

    "It's great to go racing with a modern car at a proper circuit which has such a great tradition. You can't get the same feeling anywhere else."