Ecclestone: I feel sorry for Raikkonen, he signed a contract and they need to pay him

Kimi Raikkonen with Bernie Ecclestone

Kimi Raikkonen with Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has backed Kimi Raikkonen’s threat to strike after the Finn revealed he has not been paid a single euro in 2013 by his Lotus team.

Raikkonen only travelled to Abu Dhabi at the last minute, but he is now warning thathe will sit out Austin and Brazil if the team does not pay him a reported €15 million.

“He has signed a contract with somebody and they need to pay him,” Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told the Mirror.

“I feel sorry for him but he should have been a little more sensible when he signed the contract and know what he was signing for. If he wants to stand down for a couple of races, that’s up to him. He knows the consequences of that,” he added.

Outspoken 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve also said that Raikkonen is right to have finally run out of patience.

Kimi Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi

Kimi Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi

“People are saying he should be doing it for the passion alone but he is a professional racing driver. It’s his job,” said the French Canadian. “If I was him I definitely wouldn’t be going to Austin or Sao Paulo if I wasn’t paid.”

Raikkonen’s trying weekend deepened even further late on Saturday, despite recovering his loss of form at recent races by reverting to Lotus’ original shorter-wheelbase car.

After qualifying in Abu Dhabi, the Finn’s car failed a floor deflection test, and the stewards did not accept the explanation that it had been damaged on a kerb.

Raikkonen was relegated from fifth to the back of the grid. Talking to Auto Motor und Sport, Lotus engineer Alan Permane accused the FIA of a double standard.

“This was absolutely comparable to Hungary,” he said, referring to the situation involving Romain Grosjean earlier this season, which was not similarly punished.

“Kimi had no advantage for the rest of the lap, and in fact in the slow corners he was slightly disadvantaged,” Permane insisted. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • captain tortuga

    Bernie is an ignorant f@ck.

    He back Kimi in boycotting his event, because of lack of payments..

    Ok, i suggest then that Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Sutil, and some other unpaid drivers also quit F1 one..

    Lets see if the old fart still has a such a loud mouth..
    bernie… wrinklesaurier..

  • Dr. Azlan

    Bernie backs the contract Kimi signed. Bernie is a businessman who knows what a contract means.

  • Steve W

    If a contracted hired driver isn’t paid, is it OK for a contracted pay driver to not pay?

  • Spartacus

    If you emptied Bernie’s pockets you’d find enough lose change to pay Kimi.

    However, if Lotus should have paid Kimi something by now then Kimi has every right not to turn up. Certainly only turning up for the fun bits is the right thing to do!

  • F1 Neutral

    Surely they will pay him at the end of the season considering it’s mainly his points last year that got Lotus a nice slice of the championship table money, and pretty much the same this year?

    Re Villeneuve “I wouldn’t turn up for the last 2 races if I wasn’t paid” …. I think Lotus would be happy if Jacques did that. Whenever he left a team, and his huge salary demands, they instantly did much better … BAR and BMW for sure!

  • K-15-

    I would pay kimi. I would love him and give him a bath and dry his hair and pay him, again.

  • Boycottthebull

    Yet Billionaire Bernie takes no responsibility for making the sport consistently unaffordable while him and Jean Todt feather their nests even more next year. How about you stump up the cash Bernie? You have bribed people for way more than Kimis wages. The fact is Lotus have made a statement that its only Kimis points bonus money that hasnt been paid and that in fact this nonsense Kimi has said the other day that he hasnt received a single euro is his childish attempt to stir up more trouble and sympathy for himself. And naturally the Kimi fans will always take his word over anything else said in the paddock. Kimi can do no wrong.

  • ZombieJebus

    And Hulkenberg. Though Hulk doesn’t hold press conferences about it or scuttle his car by making a rookie mistake at turn 1.

  • Dr. Azlan

    It can be the driver or the lollipop man or the wheel changer, just pay them.

  • otiva

    Ecclestoned…the wings given to you will not carry you too far…you corrupted money sucker as*hole licker