Raikkonen: I left Lotus because of the money, I haven’t got my salary

Kimi Raikkonen during the drivers press conference in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen during the drivers press conference in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen made the decision to rejoin Ferrari next season after Lotus failed to pay his salary, the Finn admitting he would still fulfill his duties over the final seven races of his contract because he “loved to race”.

Last week, the 33-year-old agreed to replace Felipe Massa as Fernando Alonso’s teammate at Ferrari, setting up a formidable partnership of former world champions at the prestigious Italian outfit where he won the title in 2007.

“I like to race,” the Finn told reporters at the Singapore Grand Prix on Thursday when asked why he was seeing out the last seven races of the season despite not being paid.

“That’s the only reason why I am here. It doesn’t matter which team it is but the reason I left Lotus was purely on the money side. I haven’t got my salary. It’s an unfortunate thing but I want to help the team as much as I can and as I just told you, I like to race.”

Kimi Raikkonen with the media in the Marina Bay paddock

Kimi Raikkonen with the media in the Marina Bay paddock

The Finn suggested that had Lotus matched his demands he may not have left but was happy with the decision now that it had been finalised.

“There were a lot of things they could have done to keep me and they know what it is,” he added.

“It’s hard to say which way I would have gone had that happened but the deal is done now and I am very happy.”

Having two high-profile drivers in one team has often led to problems in the past and when news of Raikkonen’s move back to Ferrari filtered through the paddock, a number of his rivals were quick to pour scorn on the prospect of a harmonious union.

Raikkonen, however, believes that age and experience will be a key factor in making his relationship with Alonso a good one.

“I can see plenty of reasons why it will work. We are old enough to know what we are doing and the team is working to make sure everything is fine,” he said.

Kimi Raikkonen recalls happy times at Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen recalls happy times at Ferrari

“If there is a problem then we can talk it through. I may be wrong but I am pretty sure things will be okay.”

Raikkonen ended his first spell at Ferrari in 2009 with some reports it was an acrimonious departure, a view not shared by the Finn.

“I always had freedom (at Ferrari). Don’t always believe what you read. We had a great time and I am sure I will have a great time again,” Raikkonen said.

“I know the team but obviously some new people have joined since I left but it is virtually still the same. So I don’t think it will be too difficult to go there.

“The cars will be different and that will be the biggest challenge to get them running reliably, and who ever makes the best car will make the best out of it.” (Reuters)

  • Spartacus

    Kimi Vs Alonso is one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in F1. Sparks will fly from one side of the garage!

  • Boycottthebull

    Greed – 1 Loyalty – 0

    Maybe Lotus expected you to hang around between races and help develop the car then go off for more beer drinking parties and ignore sponsors.

  • lawl

    @boycott

    He chose that career for a living, just like you (or your parents, I dont know) work for a living, just like Im an engineer for a living.

    I dont see why that is greed, a worker’s salary is sacred.

    If you talk about loyalty… was Ferrari loyal when they fired him through the back door so they could bring in Santander’s money?

    That IS greed, my friend.

  • hillside

    Kimi is a racer and will even race for free… does he demands money if he’s racing during the holidays and offseasons.

    its just Lotus is a cheap bastard. they got Kimi’s services on big bargain and now they want more at the same price??

  • Larry Thorner

    Lotus would be a perfect team for Hulk. He has got used to not being paid.

  • BigE

    Just face it. LOLtus are a joke, should never even be using the Lotus name and vintage livery and should beg Renault to take the team back. They have never had the finances to compete beyond Spa and only Kimi’s supreme talent has kept them afloat this long.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Nice recruiting tactic, Lotus.

  • McLarenfan

    @ Larry Thorner:
    I was just thinking the same thing!!!! If they promised the earth who would believe them any driver now should ask for cash up front !!!

  • Safrimike

    Could not have said it better Larry Thorner!

  • Boycottthebull

    dont get me wrong guys, I like Kimi and hope he get another shot for another WDC.

    Well, I dont work for a living, I just Beg for food and also money to check this site on the internet shop.

    Go KIMI 2014!

  • ADF

    “We are old enough to know what we are doing…”

    Yes folks, he knows what he’s doing.

  • the fan

    if you’re risking your life on races and not getting paid then its the most idiotic HOBBY you have so kimi made the right choice

  • GmtF2

    Lopez should close his mouth and open his wallet to honor his commitments to his hired driver. Kimi was open, honest, objective and professional in his comments. That doesn’t suit all sponsors it seems.

  • Tomas

    Kimi will get paid decent money next year and Alonso will get a good run for the money