Raikkonen: I am not sure I will race in Korea, we have to see

Kimi Raikkonen during the post race press conference in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen during the post race press conference in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen, who raced in Singapore with an injured back,  has not ruled out skipping the next round of the F1 World Championship, the Korean Grand Prix.

Although mounting the podium after starting just 13th, he almost had to sit out qualifying.

Many paddock cynics made a link between the ‘injury’ and the driver’s now tense relationship with Lotus, after Raikkonen announced that he is leaving for Ferrari next year because he hasn’t been paid.

But McLaren doctor Aki Hintsa, who like Raikkonen is Finnish, confirmed to Turun Sanomat newspaper that he treated the 2007 World Champion in Singapore.

Hintsa said he injected Raikkonen with cortisone, “I am glad we were able to get him in a condition so that he could drive.”

Hintsa said Raikkonen has a damaged joint between a rib and the spine, causing “a lot of pain”.

Kimi Raikkonen during the drivers parade in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen during the drivers parade in Singapore

Raikkonen refused to say if he will definitely be ready for Korea in two weeks.

“Not for sure,” he was quoted by AFP when asked if he will be recovered. “We have to see.”

As ever in Formula 1, however, the cynics and the rumour-writers are connecting the dots, recalling that earlier in Singapore, Raikkonen had hinted that technically, he is free to sit out the rest of 2013 due to Lotus’ contractual breach.

“I like to race, obviously that’s the only reason why I’m here,” he had said.

Undoubtedly, the tension between Raikkonen and Lotus is building.

After the Ferrari-bound Raikkonen finished third, chief engineer Alan Permane said: “Of course it’s good for the team and good for Kimi.

“But without Romain [Grosjean]‘s problem, he would have beaten Raikkonen. So that’s good for us to know,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.

Kimi Raikkonen on his way to third in Singapore

Kimi Raikkonen on his way to third in Singapore

Auto Motor und Sport said that Raikkonen is now only communicating with his bosses via text message. Team owner Gerard Lopez has said that Lotus “didn’t deserve” Raikkonen’s revelation about his unpaid salary.

“I like Kimi,” he told Spain’s Marca newspaper, “as a driver he’s brilliant, but if he’s really only going to Ferrari for the pasta [money?], I think it’s Ferrari who need to be asked the questions, not us.”

If Lopez sounds a little sensitive, it’s because Raikkonen’s comments coincide with rumours that Lotus is in severe financial distress.

Lopez told AM&S that reports about dozens of similarly unpaid engineers also being in the job market are simply wrong.

“Five have gone, but we are also getting Nicolas Hennel from Ferrari, and a few more as well,” he said.

“We are the only team that built a longer-wheelbase car, which is basically half a new car, costing a seven-figure sum. We showed to Kimi that we are serious.

“We gave him a good car and a good environment, so the fact that he says these things now, neither us nor he deserves,” added Lopez. (GMM.)

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • bunko

    Lotus management should just keep quiet about this if they want to hide their financial issues. I don’t see why they’re crying about Kimi’s revelation. Their the ones who did not fulfill their contractual obligation by not paying Kimi on time. They may have been developing the car, but without significant competitive improvement. Kimi is the one exceeding his contractual obligation by driving even though he’s not getting paid. If anything, they should be the ones grateful to Kimi. And Kimi’s contract ends this season, if Kimi chose to move teams, he was free to do so. They should look at themselves and ask why, not criticise Ferrari or Kimi for leaving them. Lotus has been pretending to be the “cool” team, even saying that Kimi is with them because they are “cool”. Now that Kimi has left them, where is that “cool” team attitude now?

  • Hobosport

    I agree, Lotus have been acting all confused about why Kimi came out and said something, but they haven’t actually disputed what he said about them breaking contract. So they can say all they want about everything being normal, but clearly something did not go as planned. They would be suing him if he was just making it up.

    The Grosjean comment was silly. Grosjean qualified 10 places ahead of Kimi while Kimi was in severe pain. Grosjean likely would have finished in front of Kimi, but that still means Raikkonen would have gained 9 places and Grosjean none with Kimi riding his ass to the finish.

    As for the long wheel base car… Well that was definitely a good move initially when it came time for Kimi to make a decision they had decided against using the new model.

    I think it simply came down to Lotus being in a place where they cannot compete long term, no matter how successful Kimi is with the hardware. They don’t have the money and they have lost their best technical minds top.

  • McLarenfan

    I agree with both comments They should be thanking Kimi

  • Eric Stratten

    That’s a stupid comment from Permane. The only reason Grosjean was ahead of Raikkonen was because of injury hampering Raikkonen in both Saturday sessions. Grosjean did nothing of note in the race, apart from going backwards, that is. On the other hand, Raikkonen (even though not fully fit) once again displayed the racecraft that his team-mate so clearly lacks. Lotus are going to miss him.

  • hillside

    every driver on the grid not only Kimi, these people deserve to be paid on time and nothing less. these drivers put their lives on the line to fulfill their duties every weekend for their employers. Lotus should be ashamed for this.

  • Grey

    Seriously none of this should have happened. Running and sustaining an F1 team is hard business, didn’t you know when you enter, Mr. Lopez? It’s not just about sounding nice that you own an F1 team or a platform for your business partners, but also a long term responsibility, to all these Enstone employees and their families. You shouldn’t enter if you are only after short term gains. Raikkonen is not the cause of your problems. He did nothing to deserve your slam. He is just a driver, all he can do is driving, all he wants is a championship. He has more or less carried this team in terms of championship points. I just find it absurd how in any way you could blame your driver for the current situation.

  • John J

    I think Lotus should be grateful that a driver they are not paying is getting them points in the championship that will translate to many millions of pounds at the end of the season.
    It might not have been Grosjean’s fault this weekend, but in general he is fast but error-prone, and lacks the consistency to give the team more points that Kimi does.

  • Andy

    mmm, every comment here is supporting the drivers point of view, I am just thinking and laughing on Ferrari’s challenge next year to communicate via SMS with Kimi, after the first spark shows up.
    Its going to be a show to watch!

  • Dan

    No bullshit from Kimi. He says as it is. I find it refreshing in the F1 world.

  • Jeremy

    Im proud of the people commenting here. This was all really good converation! Thanks

  • Kaush

    Lopez has absolutely gone nuts. Kimi would have been the best choice for Lotus. What are they talking about Grosjean?? Alan Permane is another idiot. Lopez should sack him for Grosjean car problem. Kimi will be a asset to any team, personally, I like Kimi joining Ferrari to finish his F1 carrier.

  • Petronius

    This situation is absurd. Lopez has has received great results and signed one of the most popular drivers at the grid, and still he cant find sponsors to finance the team.I think Mr Lopez should take a look in the mirror to find the source of present problems.

    I dont know how it is, where Lopez comes from, but at least in northern Europe salaries are sacred. Now Mr Lopez is pushing his business risk on the employees combined with “all time low” -critics. He should be ashamed.

    Alan Permane is another looser in my eyes, trying publicly dismiss Kimis race result in Singapore. Points are given when race is done.

    Permane has change direction of attitude rapidly, just to keep his job at Lotus. This kind of “yes boss” – personalities are the first ones to get fired when going get though.

    I have been a Lotus supporter for almost two years now, but unfortunately it is finished now, when it has become clear, how owner and management threat the labour in the team.

  • David Lonsdale

    Can’t add much to the subject except to say how much I find Kimi a breath of fresh air in this (business-with-a-hint-of) sport. I hope Ferrari provide him with a genuinely competitive car.

  • Mahir Ali

    KIMI is KIMI thats what eric said, i think lopez should learn from eric, KIMI wants a competitive car by any company , it may be ferrari , lotus r even force india , Lopez can’t provide him such car, so he cant blam kimi for that , Lopez mind your words before you speak.

    Plz TALK LESS AND WORK MORE just like KIMI does,