SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom, June 27, 2013 (AFP) - Kimi Raikkonen said on Thursday that he would find it tough to choose between staying with Lotus or joining champions Red Bull as successor to Mark Webber at the end of this year -- if he is given the choice.
The 33-year-old Finn arrived at Silverstone on the eve of opening free practice for this weekend's British Grand Prix to be confronted by a barrage of media questions following Webber's announcement that he is leaving Formula One to join Porsche's sportscar racing team.
Raikkonen's contract with Lotus expires at the end of this year, but the 2007 world champion insisted he has not given any thought yet for the immediate future.
"Whatever the decision, it will not be easy, but it is never easy," he said. "It is not the first time that there are different options on the table,
and then you take the one that you think is right at that moment.
"So it is hard to say if it is the right or wrong decision and you have to live with it. Only you can make the decision yourself."
He said that Thursday's news of Webber's decision to leave Red Bull had made no difference to him.
"I still don't have an answer for what will happen next year, it hasn't changed in the last two races," he said.
"Obviously people will be talking about the chances more, but it doesn't really change what I will do next year or what my decisions are - even if there is an open place.
"I have no contract, which is normal in F1. I have nothing to inform people until there is something certain on paper and I will tell immediately because then everyone stops asking the same question. But until I have something done I cannot answer..."
Raikkonen returned to F1 with Lotus last year after a two-year spell in rallying.
He finished the championship in third place, winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix along the way. He started this season with a win at the Australian Grand Prix and is currently third in the standings.
He said Lotus had been just what he wanted.
"It has been perfect. Without them I wouldn't be back in F1," he said. "For sure they also got some good things out of it, so I have no complaints.
"Obviously there are certain things that have to improve, but I have had a great time with the team so far. That is why whatever the decision will be will be difficult."
Raikkonen admitted that his freedom at Lotus is an important consideration.
"It is one of the key points," he said. "Obviously you want to have a good car and certain things have to be right, but there are a lot of small things that have to be right for yourself.
"I've been around the business long enough to know what I want and if those things are not right then the decision might be different."