Raikkonen to Sauber and Hulkenberg to Lotus for Austin?

Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg to swap cockpits in Austin?

Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg to swap cockpits in Austin?

The big question ahead of next weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin is the whereabouts of Kimi Raikkonen, according to former Formula 1 pundit Mika Salo.

Lotus claimed after Abu Dhabi that its pay dispute with Finn Raikkonen is now over, and that he will drive the black and gold car in Texas and Brazil before switching to Ferrari for 2014.

Salo is not so sure and told the broadcaster MTV3, “Let’s see if Kimi is in Austin and in what car.”

“It’s probably the most anticipated thing about the whole American Grand Prix weekend. There have been reports that Kimi will drive a Sauber instead of a Lotus,” said fellow Finn Salo.

Kimi Raikkonen has been the centre of media attention of late

Kimi Raikkonen has been the centre of media attention of late

The Raikkonen-to-Sauber report is new, but it would seem to tie in with reports that Nico Hulkenberg, the Swiss team’s current driver, is Lotus’ preferred option to replace Raikkonen in 2014.

Sauber, meanwhile, is powered by engines supplied by Raikkonen’s new employer, Ferrari.

“For now it’s just a report,” Salo admitted. “Kimi loves to drive, but the atmosphere at Lotus is no longer good for him. Sauber is also short of money and has not paid … Nico Hulkenberg.”

Whatever is powering Raikkonen in Austin, Salo is sure the 2007 World Champion will drive flat out.

“If Kimi is in Austin, he will definitely be on it,” he said. “With our Finnish mentality, no matter what is going on it doesn’t affect our performance. We sit in the car and drive it as hard as we can.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Not happening

    Reporting must be a lost art these days.

    But would it not be funny if Kimi did get in the Sauber and won the race and Nico ended up racing in the mid pack in the lotus.

    If Lotus has made this agreement that would be justice.

  • Snowman

    I kind of hope this happens just see what Kimi does in a Sauber and Hulkenburg in a Lotus.

    Hulk is MUCH bigger than Kimi though so I highly doubt they would be able to drive each other’s cars.

    Seems ridiculous to me.

  • spoofer

    Kimi would be totally stupid to go to another car or to refuse to turn up. He has a contract, and whereas he may not have been paid, not turning up would be a breach of contract on Kimis part, and that could be used against him!

  • grat

    Spoofer: Unless Lotus is already in breach of contract for not meeting their agreed-upon payment schedule.

    Still seems like a long shot, though.

  • Boycottthebull

    Sauber hasnt paid Hulkenberg all year either so if Kimi thinks doing this for some extra cash he is out of luck.

  • ZombieJebus

    I love this site… it’s the best F1 tabloid on the web!

    Soon I expect an article saying Kimi is actually a martian!

  • Well

    spoofer, the one that already breached the contract is Lotus (for over a year even it seems) so there is legally speaking no contract to follow for Kimi.

    I wanna see Kimi at Sauber for 2 races, I think there is a podium in that car since the tyres were switched.

  • K-15-

    U right snowman…Without doing the seat fitting how can you sit in an other car plus all the electric customization and other shit. These are not karts for Christ sake.

  • Must be open season to trash Kimi now

    It must be open season to trash Kimi in the press now.

    First they bash him for expecting to get paid for driving for Lotus, then they decide to start the rumor that he is being moved over to Sauber, the latest is he was driving illegal cars in 2007 with Ferrari.

    Screw the press.

  • spoofer

    grat and well. I don’t dispute that Lotus are in breach of contract, but it is important for Kimi not to give them ammunition by breaching the contract himself. He has the moral high ground, he has to maintain it.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Salo has lost the plot here. Kimi wouldn’t be able to get the best out of the Sauber with the lack of in season testing. He will be driving a Lotus in Austin and Sao Paulo providing Lotus stick to the payment agreement.

  • ThePaddock1

    kimi in a sauber, dont make me laugh im sure mika salo cooked up this nonsence!! altho itll be good to see the hulk in that lotus