In the apparently unwell Kimi Raikkonen
's absence, it was left to the other drivers on Thursday to talk about the 2014 'silly season'. The big rumour is that Finn Raikkonen, also courted by Red Bull and Lotus
, could be poised to return to Ferrari
. "I have no problem with having any teammate," Fernando Alonso
is quoted at Spa by the Spanish sports newspaper AS.
But according to the wilder rumours, it could be Alonso himself who is not wearing red in 2014. The Spaniard was publicly rebuked by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in the wake of his post-race comments in Hungary. But Alonso on Thursday said it was all a misunderstanding.
"Our relationship is better than ever," he insisted. "We talked almost every day of the summer, not only about F1, but about holidays, family, Madrid, Juventus. The relationship is great, he is a great motivator, he is the father of the Ferrari family and he knows how to keep the environment in the team good."
"There are zero problems," Alonso added. "I think what happened is he got bad information, as we have looked into what he thought had been said in Hungary, but I think it was the right time for (the press to report) rumours and sell many newspapers."
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel
on Thursday admitted reports Raikkonen is not coming to the world champion team in 2014 are disappointing. "Obviously I've learnt from the press that it looks like it won't be the case," he said. "Kimi would have been nice in many ways but now it's not happening it doesn't make much sense to talk about it," added Vettel.
33-year-old Raikkonen's other theoretical options are Ferrari or Lotus. Romain Grosjean
, his current Lotus teammate, said he is ready to step into the lead role in 2014 if Raikkonen does jump ship. "I've always said that losing Kimi would be a loss for the team," said the Frenchman. "At the moment, we have a good way of working together. But if he leaves then we'll be more than happy to get the lead and keep Lotus where it is or still improve," Grosjean added. (GMM)
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