Kimi Raikkonen claims he has signed a one-year contract with Lotus because it makes his life easier should he want to do something else.
The Finn, who returned to Formula 1 this year after two seasons in the World Rally Championship, recently extended his Lotus deal into 2013.
Although his partnership with Lotus has been successful so far, taking him to third in the current standings, Raikkonen says it does not make sense for him to commit to the long term.
“I’m happy to do year by year and see what happens,” Raikkonen told reporters in Abu Dhabi. “It makes life easier for me, and I see no reason why I should make long-term contracts.
“If you want to go and do something else then it’s less hassle and less problems.”
The 2007 world champion, who has stood on the podium six times this year, did admit he was very happy at Lotus.
“I enjoy the people. They are a very nice group of people,” he said. “They have racing in their hearts and less politics than many others, because it is not a big car manufacturer team, so it makes a difference. I have a good time, no complaints.”
Raikkonen is yet to win a race this season despite having been close to the top step on various occasions.
Although he endured a disappointing Indian Grand Prix last weekend – hindered by a set-up mistake – the Lotus driver is convinced his car had the pace to be fighting at the front.
And the Finn is not yet ruling out getting that elusive victory this year.
“I really thought that we had the speed in the car in the last race, and that is why I was very disappointed with my decision to change the car,” he said. “It probably didn’t work well for qualifying, but in the race, based on laptimes, we had one of the fastest cars.
“But we put ourselves in a position that with our straightline speed we were never going to pass people, so that’s why it was more disappointing.
“But that’s how it goes, but hopefully this weekend we get everything right and don’t make any mistakes in qualifying. I don’t see a reason why we still couldn’t win a race, but of course we need a bit of luck. We’ll see.”
Raikkonen conceded his title hopes are all but over – being 67 points behind with 75 available – but he insists he will continue to push until he is mathematically out of it.
“I guess we still have a chance so we keep pushing, but it’s very unlikely that [his rivals] won’t finish any races. I don’t see it happening. But we are still going to try to do our best and score as many points as we can.”
Video: Kimi speaking to National in Abu Dhabi