Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has assured driver Kimi Raikkonen that he would receive any unpaid wages after the Finn had told reporters that the lack of pay was behind his move to Ferrari for next season.
Boullier, addressing reporters ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday felt that Raikkonen’s comments a day earlier needed a little more clarification.
“I don’t think it is damaging the brand of the team to be honest,” the Frenchman said.
“The truth is yes we owe him money so that is true, he is going to be paid, that is true too. So if you want a little bit more story, last year was the same…we owed him some money, but only at the very end was he fully paid.”
Raikkonen has enjoyed a fairly successful return to Formula 1 at Lotus since ending a two-year sabbatical after leaving Ferrari in 2009, winning twice in the E21, and scoring points in a record 27 consecutive races.
However, the lure of a return to the Italian giants was strong enough for the Finn to end his two-season spell with Lotus, although he did hint that he may have extended his stay had the team been able to meet his demands.
“It is just the way we manage our cashflow,” Boullier added.
“Unfortunately, we are not as rich as some of the teams on the grid. You can also understand for a team capable of winning this year and fighting for some podiums…maybe we are not as sustainable as we should be.”
Boullier did not say who was in line to replace Raikkonen next season but admitted the team were happy with their other driver, Romain Grosjean, despite the Frenchman’s error-strewn first season with Lotus in 2012.
“His future is secure so far as he has a contract with us,” Boullier said.
“Obviously in the last year it was a bit difficult for him but this year he is doing a great job and in the last four races we have [had] nothing to complain about.
“He was 100 percent up to speed with his famous team mate so we will just see now and if everything goes as planned, he will have a great future with us.” (Reuters)
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