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Formula One

Paddock heats up around the 'Iceman'

The quiet Finn is being linked to Red Bull and Ferrari ahead of favourite grand prix at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps.

Last Modified: 21 Aug 2013 13:19
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Raikkonen's future at Lotus is in doubt with possible spots at Ferrari and Red Bull [AP]

Kimi Raikkonen, the least garrulous of Formula One drivers, is the man everyone is talking about ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at his favourite Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel may be well on his way to a fourth successive title, with four wins already and the second half of the season favouring him in the past, but Raikkonen's future has hogged the recent headlines.

The Finn started the August break as a favourite to join Vettel at Red Bull next year but now the chatter is about a different shade of red and a possible surprise return to glamour team Ferrari if he does not stay with Lotus.

There are certain circuits where everything seems to run smoothly and then there are other circuits where I have no luck at all

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus driver

Raikkonen, champion with Ferrari in 2007 before making way at the end of 2009 for Spain's Fernando Alonso and taking two years out of the sport, is being touted as a replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa.

The Finn's manager Steve Robertson has ruled out Red Bull and said Ferrari are an option, even if Maranello has remained tight-lipped, and whatever the reality Spa is sure to give Raikkonen the stage to impress.

Few have any doubt about what he can offer, with the 33-year-old second in the standings, 38 points behind Vettel and chasing a record 28th successive scoring finish.

Spa, a layout steeped in history with the stomach-wrenching slingshot through Eau Rouge and the longest and one of the fastest laps on the calendar, has been good to Raikkonen over the years come rain or shine.

The 'Iceman' has won there four times with McLaren and Ferrari and, after five second places this season following his season-opening victory in Australia, is gunning for another visit to the top step to boost his title challenge.

"There are certain circuits where everything seems to run smoothly and then there are other circuits where I have no luck at all," he told the team website.

"Of course we will do our very best to win this race.

"I have been on the top step of the podium a few times at Spa and I want to be there again."

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Source:
Reuters
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