Raikkonen: I nearly didn’t come to Abu Dhabi because I’ve been paid zero euro the whole year

Kimi Raikkonen has been the centre of attention in the Abu Dhabi paddock

Kimi Raikkonen has been the centre of attention in the Abu Dhabi paddock

Despite denials by Lotus that there are serious issues between them and their star driver Kimi Raikkonen, in the aftermath of a foul mouthed exchange at the Indian Grand Prix, the real reason the Finn nearly skipped the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix  is because he has not been paid any money this year by the team.

Asked by media at Yas Marina if the expletive laced radio altercation in India was the cause of his discontent, Raikkonen replied, “It’s easy to say that’s the reason why I didn’t almost come, it’s not that simple. Sometimes it’s not very nice when you hear that you don’t have the interests of the team and then you’ve been paid zero euro the whole year.”

He added, “It doesn’t put you in the best place, but that’s how it goes and hopefully we found an understanding on both sides how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues and try to finish as well as we can.”

Raikkonen’s salary is reportedly €8-million plus bonuses of €50 000 per point he scores. Therefore Lotus owe him over €17-million euros for the season thus far.

“I came here only because hopefully, we have found an understanding on the certain issues that we’ve been having. Hopefully it will get fixed and we can finished the season as well as we can,” said Raikkonen who only arrived at Yas Marina Circuit a few hours before FP1 started, after having skipped the Thursday media appearances for the team.

Kimi Raikkonen during practice at Yas Marina Circuit

Kimi Raikkonen during practice at Yas Marina Circuit

The heated exchange between Lotus trackside director Alan Permane and Raikkonen during the Indian GP captured headlines, but was not the full reason for Raikkonen’s discontent. Lotus have subsequently released an official apology.

But Raikkonen instisted, “It’s a small part of it. Those things shouldn’t happen but unfortunately it happened and that’s not really the issue. It’s the other stuff and obviously all the things come together in the end.”

Raikkonen, the 2007 World Champion, announced in September that he will be rejoining Ferrari for 2014 and beyond, amid ongoing reports that Lotus are struggling financially.

Meanwhile Lotus have been in damage limitation mode, releasing a long interview with chairman Geraard Lopez singing the praises of Raikkonen and his contribution to the team.

Kimi Raikkonen with Gerard Lopez during happier times

Kimi Raikkonen with Gerard Lopez during happier times

Lopez revealed, “A lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship.”

“It certainly wasn’t the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen.”

“The fact is [that] he will be missed and I really think that this is one of those partnerships in Formula 1 that is – and will be remembered as being – very, very special. It’s difficult to think about the fact he’s not going to be in our black and gold car next year. I think he feels the same way,” mused the Lotus team boss.

“There’s no such thing as regrets, but there is such a thing as sadness, even if [it is] disguised sometimes…he will be missed, and from what I’ve discussed with him he will miss this team.”

“It doesn’t take anything away from the relationship and it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that I certainly gained a friend and that [friendship] will continue to exist,” added Lopez. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Stephen

    Kimi driving for free the whole year!? It looks like a fraud to me, I should sue the Lotus team asap.

  • vou62wan

    This is common sense nobody in this world would work for free, if you have family you have to supported you family and children education Lotus have make lot of empty promises up to date. they breach the contract,Of course they are trying to coverup that the fact Lotus have not been telling the truth all along

  • vou62wan

    I won`t be surprised if they are going to be sued by the sponsor they themselves Have tarnished the name Lotus.This season they are the BIG loser I felt sorry for the staff of Lotus. I hope you all get paid before Christmas Ciao

  • The Pessimist

    Zero Euro,Is the Iceman melting?

  • vou62wan

    The reason there delayed the announcement of 2nd drivers bco`s there Collaboration with Quantum fall apart,now they are trying to get replacement.it will take sometimes to concluded.I won`t be surprised if Lotus/Renault won`t be around the next time.

  • sebolonso

    Some kind of financial genius (Genii) this Lopez…would you trust Your money to him:). One Year without salary…this is a joke… right?

    Lotus team should be closed out off the grid, until owner liability is set. Boullier is dreaming, if he thinks any serious sponsor will come on board after this. It’s smelling bankruptcy on distance. If that happens, lot of employees will probably be without compensation, Kimi included. What a f…..g mess and nightmare Lopez has created. Guy belongs in jail.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Kimi is such an actor an BS artist. He gets paid from the money revieved by the team at the end of the year. .. same as 2012. He just wants to look like less of an under performing wanker.

  • Ukwhite

    Better stop it, that is ridiculous. Leave Kimi alone, common sense.

  • michaelmacarthur

    It’s in his contract to get paid at the end of the year, not during the season. Also, to the comment earlier about supporting a family and needing to get paid? Holy shit that’s funny. If Kimi is Broke already from his Ferrari salary, he deserves it.
    I wonder if the prancing pony knew of his back issues before signing him on.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Oh, yes. You’re right. His inconsistent performances at McClaren, his uninspired driving at Ferrari, his petulant whining, abuse of competitors, lack of manners, his willingness to continually kick an entire team of hard workers despite their glowing praise of him, his lacklustre recentnperformances, his failed rally career, his fake iceman image. His ridiculous James Hunt homage……. ugh, the list is endless…..

    Yes, we must leave him alone. Poor, poor Kimi.

    This is just like all the people who forget what a b**tard Senna was. Critique is not allowed

  • K-15-

    @ idiot alonso-is-slow: right, inconsistent performance at mclaren by kimi when he ended up twice runner up to schumi and ever winning ferrari. Uninspired driving at ferrari where he won in 2007 and the team won in 2008. He whined a lot in 2009 with an year old ferrari to secure 4 podiums in a row. his mistake was he didn’t indulge in any spygate or crashgate like your spaniard eye-brow man did. Kimi is the best since Ayrton and he will prove it come 2014.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    He can’t beat grosjean at the moment……..

    He couldn’t beat massa in 2008 and 2009….

    He lucked into one championship when mclaren imploded….

    He finishes races. An excellent number two…. especially to massa in 2008.

    I look forward to seeing him perform, but we all know that every podium is followed by a ninth or tenth place…. He just can’t keep it up the pointy end consistently.

  • F1 Fan For A Long Time

    What do you expect? Look at who posted it lol

  • F1 Fan For A Long Time

    Unfortunately, forums will always be full of idiots, so it’s not worth getting annoyed by someone who is just playing with everyone.

    It does make you wonder how somebody with such bigoted viewpoints and with such utter hatred towards a bunch of current F1 drivers bothers to watch a race at all.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    But of course Alonso is the Drama Queen, and you cant take that away from him.

  • Alonso_is_Slow


  • K-15-

    I will concede his performances are sometimes a little up and down. My Senna comment was more now inflammatory and making a point. Hakkinen was the man over a single lap. Faster even than Senna. Kimi is up there.

  • Hunter

    Haha. Don’t try to fool us. That’s not your nickname.

    ‘He can’t beat grosjean at the moment……..’
    So what? Kimi has 183 pts and Grogro 108. Kimi has beaten him all the year except the last 2 races. Kimi has obtained victories and 2nd places Grogro just reaches 3rd places.

    ‘He couldn’t beat massa in 2008 and 2009…’
    He beat him 2007 even more they were tie in 2008 until Sevilla GP What happened in Spain? Kimi’s engine broke. In Santander’s soil, ready to sign sponsorship with Ferrari since 2010.

    ‘He lucked into one championship when mclaren imploded….’
    And McLaren Mercedes engine’s exploded. Even that he was 2nd in 2003 just 2 point behind M.Schumacher and his reliable Ferrari.

    ‘He finishes races. An excellent number two….’
    Massa was behind Kimi in 2007 when Massa had more advantage over Kimi cause he knew Ferrari’s team, the car and the tyres.
    Kimi has beaten all his team-mates during his career except when he was a rookie: Coulthard, Montoya, De La Rosa, Massa, Grosjean.

    ‘He just can’t keep it up the pointy end consistently.’
    Psss He has the record of races in points: 27. Some journalists call him Mr Consistency.

    Soooo you’re WRONG

  • Alonso_is_Slow


    The pointy end (podiums). He gets points, but one week he’s fast. Nezt race he’s off the pace. Then he’s fast, then three slow races.

    And massa beat him…..

    And grosjean is frequently faster, especially when the car isn’t good.

    Massa is a number two driver and owned Kimi for 2008/09.

    Grosjean is….. well, the jury is out, but he’s no vettel or even alonso.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Consistently finishing…. sometimes faster than his team mate, sometime slower than his team mate.

    Over rated and has never set the world alight.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    I love how kimi’s list of team mates is a who’s who of epic-fails!

  • Dr. Azlan

    If no investor buys Lotus’ 35% stake then Kimi knows Lotus won’t pay him by year end, within next five years perhaps if they could survive that long.

    The stake sale is critical in Lotus situation.

  • Hunter

    Again… Don’t try to fool anybody.

    Kimi has 77 podiums. It’s 40% of his races, it means each 10 races he gets 4 podiums.
    He is 5th in the statistics just 3 podiums behind the 4th. So he will probably become the 4th.

    So what are you talking about? Respect his numbers.

    Massa beat him in 2008. So what? Massa was not good enough for you? He almost won a WDC instead of Hamilton. Massa now is other driver, his accident changed him, physically or mentally. It happened in the past with many many drivers.

    Ok Don’t like his team-mates. Tell me what kind of list do you prefer?

    Hakkinen had Blundell, Brundle, Herbert and Coulthard
    Schumacher had Brundle, Patrese, Herbert, Irvine, Barrichello, Massa and Nico Rosberg
    Hamilton had Alonso, Kovalainen, Button and Nico Rosberg
    Vettel had Liuzzi, Bourdais and Webber

    Sooo Who had faster team-mates than Kimi?

    Probably you want he would have had as team-mates: Senna, Prost, J.Villeneuve, Mansell, Stewart, Clark, Fangio.

    Over rated? Hahaha Au contraire He is one of the most under rated F1 drivers of the history.

    He just needed a more reliable Mercedes’ engine in his McLaren and he would had 3 WDC.

    He has the 3rd record of fastest laps with 39 just 2 less than the 2nd Alain Prost. So probably he will become the 2nd.

    If you don’t like his personality ok I understand but nobody can say he is not a fast and good driver and certainly nobody in the paddock has said it.

    It’s just you against the world… Good luck with your crusade but please don’t try to fool us here.

  • william Pym

    guys you are missing the point here kimi has not been paid 1 single euro dollar all year which is shocking in a sport where
    Bernie has made billions of dollars. Its shocking that people like kimi and hulkenberg and most of the sauber supliers are not
    getting paid on time.where Bernie e has made billions.formula 1 is just full of pay drivers now with the majority of drives going to the highest bidder.I want to see the best 22 drivers in the world not the best 10 drivers and 12 pay drivers.

  • Frank

    Come to think of it, Kimi was paid for not driving in the last year of his old Ferrari contract. So it all evens out in the end.

  • F1Fanatic

    Like Kimi said…..F1 is a sport but also BIG business and that why we sit down and draw up lengthy contracts….
    I just don’t understand why any driver is expected to turn a blind eye to his contractual rights just because people think the money is toooo much….
    Driving your ass off an entire season without being paid and then be spoken (shouted) to like an idiot would piss anyone off….

  • Dr. Azlan

    Just obey the contract, if the contract says you drive without pay then don’t pay him.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Your stats are meaningless. Years of driving newey mobiles and sometimes driving well and sometimes just circulating and pulling out a hugely fast final lap used to show how much of a rut he would be in during the race. He has always been up and down. Explain why he is either super fast or snoozing….

    It’s what separates kimi from the truly great. The truly great don’t have the good – great – off the pace – great – average – off the pace for three races – form that kimi does.

    He’s lost interest, lately. Again…..

  • Erich Lacher

    Alain Prost and Renault and Lotus are comming to pay Kimis salary of this year 2013 . But Prost doesnt trust Raikkonen and Alonso.

    Alain Prost trusts Lotus and Renult starts to support Lotus.

    This is so caled French Logic.

    This unpaymet is comming very expensive to Lotus and Renault and France,

    If this farce continiues.

  • Hunter

    F1 Stats are meaningless? Hahahaha You’re so funny.

    What’s meaningful? Your opinion? Hahahaha

    Stats help to avoid people can’t easily say Senna was not the truly great cause he was so wild, Prost neither cause he was slow, Clark neither cause he had the fastest car, Steward neither cause he had luck with Tyrrel, Fangio neither cause he was lucky to always be in the best car.

    They avoid people can said Kimi made it with Newey’s cars. WRONG. He just gained 19 ot those fastest laps with McLaren, 15 with Ferrari and 4 with ‘Lotus’. And let’s forget about your bias about he made them just to show how fast he was. Of course he was and that’s the point. What do you think is Vettel doing in the last races? Both are fast drivers.

    Explain what? Have you seen 03, 05 and 07 seasons? If not, plz review the stats. Nothing more to say. Don’t try to fool us.

    Has he lost interest lately? Good joke. 2 years out and came back with a victory and 3rd place in 2012. This year is fighting the 2nd place including another win with Lotus which is team almost in bankruptcy.

    However I understand many people don’t consider him one of the greatest drivers and that’s fine.
    I’m F1 fan rather than Kimi’s boy fan.

    Maybe that’s why he has come back, maybe he is going to show the world how good he is next year in Ferrari’s car. And Vettel knows it.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    I never said he wasn’t fast. I said he is inconsistent. He has a history of not consistently getting the best from his car.

    He is fast. But will then have ‘down times’ when his team mates do far better for several races in row.

    Argue that…

  • Hunter

    Just in 2008 and this year no more than these. And there are reason for that.

    2008 the car was developed for Massa’s driving style. Kimi is the fastest when he has a car developed for his style.

    In the middle of this year with the new Pirelli’s tyre the behaviour of the E21 changed suited Grosjean’s driving style opposite Kimi’s. Lotus doesn’t have more money to help him with developments as they did at the beginning of the season with Romain.

    See the stats of all his seasons and you will realize it. Anyway it will be ok if you don’t agree.

    Regards (I didn’t think to say this when I started these comments. Hahaha)

    PS: See him tomorrow in Abu Dhabi and enjoy it.

  • stoner

    Alonso_is_Slow is a FCUKING TROLL

  • stoner

    Alonso_is_Slow is a FCUKING TROLL

    He post mindless stupid dumb comments to just piss off others, just pure cnut he is

  • Spartacus

    And what are you, stoner?

    At least s/he uses examples. U just swear like that sexypenisface dude

  • Spartacus

    Stoner needs an xc