Lopez: Raikkonen’s operation comes at a very unfortunate time for Lotus 12 November, 2013 Kimi Raikkonen with Gerard Lopez during happier times Gerard Lopez, the head of Lotus’ team owner Genii Capital, might be among the cynics after news broke that his star driver Kimi Raikkonen will sit out the rest of the season to sort out a back injury. The Finnish driver and his management say that Raikkonen must undergo back surgery to end a run of worsening pain and to ensure that he is ready to return in good shape for the start of his Ferrari return in 2014. The cynics, however, might wonder if the timing of the surgery is related to Raikkonen’s pay dispute with the financially strapped Lotus outfit. The timing is also interesting, given the fact that Ferrari is locked in a battle with Lotus in the lucrative Constructors’ World Championship with just two races to go. “Primarily this is about Raikkonen’s health, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” Lopez told the German newspaper Die Welt. Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen have propelled Lotus to fourth in the constructors’ title chase “But the operation comes at a very unfortunate and unsuitable time for Lotus. And I also know what sport we are in,” he added, in an obvious reference to the sceptics’ doubts. Lopez’s frustration is perhaps understandable, given that despite Lotus having one of the very fastest cars on the grid, every headline is focused on the team’s money problems. “Again and again I read these negative headlines,” he said, “while no one seems to care that we decided to save a company and about 500 employees. “Of course we know that Formula 1 is not a charitable organisation, but there are huge differences in how the teams are financially supported by Formula 1. “It is not about the other [top] teams managing to get more investment, but the fact that they simply get more money,” argued Lopez. “And not because they are better, but because they are apparently more important. We begin our 100 metre race at the 200 metre point,” he added, “and still we make it to the podium.” (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsBarrichello says he nearly replaced Raikkonen for final two racesBriatore: US GP showed that Lotus made very bad choice with KovalainenValsecchi: It’s a huge blow to lose out to Kovalainen who is not a great championLotus set to announce Kovalainen as Raikkonen replacement for USA and BrazilSalo suggests that Lotus replaces Raikkonen with Kovalainen for USA and BrazilSalo backs Raikkonen’s surgery over Lotus finaleEcclestone: I feel sorry for Raikkonen, he signed a contract and they need to pay himKovalainen: I was anticipating that it would be easier to come back and race competitivelyLotus: A disappointing way to end what has been a strong season for the teamLotus: Rather disappointing as the car has been performing well in wet conditions, Kimi4WDC What is unfortunate, is Lotus management team, they are unfortunate. What a mess for Lotus image. captain tortuga I think Kimi pretty much reared his ugly head. I also think he will have a massively hard time keeping up with Alonso. Hugo Serves Lotus right. Had they paid Kimi, he would’ve stayed next year and had surgery later. He chose to have this surgery now both to piss them off and to make sure he’s recovered in time for Ferrari. iceman 2.0 The honeymoon between Lopez and Kimi is over. Life really sucks the happiness out of you. This may be the end of Lotus.They had so much potential and promise but all went down the drain. So much to offer yet nothing arrived at last. Talent should be appreciated and nurtured . But they missed the trick. First their technical brain and now the ultimate racing talent alive. Things would have been much different if they gave Kimi the no. 1 status and shoved the crash prone nutcase to a supporting role. Even ‘bulk hulk’ would be apprehensive to jump ship to ‘shit’. PereZ could be roped in along with Mad Mal to stabilise the financial crisis. RoGro is fast , very fast but brings nothing. No consistency , no money , no aura , nothing. For 2014 and beyond they should build the team around PerEZ and Mal may be relegated to a more humble role :)) F1Afreak i dont blame Kimi one bit, Lotus has been giving false promises for months, the money is coming, dont worry bout it, yeah right, all the same time, talking about how Kimi is onboard, he wont leave, he’s our guy, if it were me, i would be miffed about that, secondly, yeah im supposed to feel for you, you saved the company and 500 employees, i get that, but certainly, you could have cleaned out the cushions on your jet and paid Kimi, i am sick of people saying Kimi is selfish and a millionaire, seen Lopez lately? he could have paid him at any time. Jules I honestly doubt Kimi can match ALonso in a Ferrari next year. Kimi is indeed a top driver but he is still not a match for Alonso at the moment. bobw “I honestly doubt Kimi can match ALonso in a Ferrari next year. Kimi is indeed a top driver but he is still not a match for Alonso at the moment.” Ummmm….what has Alonso really accomplished this year? F1 Fan For A Long Time Alonso bashing again! Alonso will finish 2nd in the championship again, which is the only place you can finish for as long as Vettel and Redbull are together. He has beaten Webber in pretty much the same car as Vettel, also the 2 Mercedes drivers who have had very fast machines this year. All accomplished in a car that started out looking like a title contender, but suffered at the hands of the mid-season changes and hasn’t looked like being anywhere near the podium for a long time. I think Alonso has achieved the absolute best position, given the current Vettel/Newey combination. MightyK Lotus has reaped what they sowed this season. Mr. A I see alot of ppl who doesn’t think Kimi can match Fernando nxt year , guys had u seen Kimi vs. Fernando in those Mclaren-Renault duel era , u would hav thought differently , n d upcoming fight is a mouth watering1 fr a F1 fan K-15- I am a Kimster fan, but still loved to see him see off this season to retain 3rd position in WDC and signed off properly in his balck & gold. But Lotus F***** up big time this season with their mismangement. TarasT The real reason Kimi dropped out of the remaining two races was to guarantee Ferrari, his new employer, second in the constructors championship. stoner “The real reason Kimi dropped out of the remaining two races was to guarantee Ferrari, his new employer, second in the constructors championship” dude, stop manufacturing stuff out, what a looser. Kimi vs Fernando: people who have seen them in the McLaren Renault days know Kimi is faster. Kimi is known for pushing the car beyond its limits. and for the money issue, not fair to ask someone to put his life on the line with no rewards. i wouldn’t work if my employer isn’t paying me for more than a month fools what has Alonso accomplished…alot more then your IQ sebolonso Lopez and Alonso have same problem. Both simply talk too much… solution is obvious. Lopez should pay and Alonso drive …faster. sebolonso @’Ferrari: Kimi returns as new lead driver to bring back wdc trophy to Maranello. Ferrari and Santander has lost their faith in Alonso. Simple as that. The trick is done on track, not in the media room.