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Raikkonen thinks short-term to keep life simple

By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen says he prefers one-year Formula One contracts because it makes his life "less hassle".

The 2007 world champion's Lotus team announced this week that the Finn was staying with them next year after a successful comeback season.

With the regulations changing significantly for 2014, continuity is likely to be important for teams and Raikkonen was asked at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Thursday why he had not signed a longer deal.

"I'm happy to do year by year and see what happens," said the 33-year-old. "It makes life more easy for me, and I don't see a reason why I should make long-term contracts.

"I try to do well enough that I don't have to worry about it when it comes to the time to sign, that I will have somewhere to race.

"Plus for me it's easier like that. If you want to decide to go somewhere and do something else it's less hassle and less problems."

Raikkonen has had six podium finishes this season and is third overall in the championship, albeit 67 points behind Red Bull's leader and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel, with three races remaining.

The former Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver has seemed happy at Lotus, the former Renault team, even if he still finds media and sponsor activities a tiresome necessity.

Raikkonen, never the most loquacious soul in the paddock but with an army of admirers who love his focus on racing and having fun, said he was no longer worried about contracts.

"Maybe in the past I would have worried about those things but for a few years I don't really ... usually they sort out themselves," he said.

The Finn felt Lotus could go well in Abu Dhabi this weekend, even if his car was not the quickest. He refused to give up on his hopes of winning a race before the end of the season.

"I don't see a reason why we still couldn't win a race but, of course, it's not going to be easy and probably we need a bit of luck on our side," he said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Josh Reich)