Lopez: Money has little to do with it, Raikkonen will get his money

Gerard Lopez with Kimi Raikkonen during happier times

Gerard Lopez with Kimi Raikkonen during happier times

It took many by surprise when Kimi Raikkonen decided to sort out a lingering back problem and headed for back surgery ahead of schedule, missing the final two races of the 2013 season and also his last two drives with Lotus in the process.

Many sceptics believe that it was a way for the 2007 World Champion to get out of his deal with Lotus who he revealed had not paid him at all this season.

Raikkonen declared in Abu Dhabi, “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.”

But Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez insists. “Money has little to do with it, we clarified that in Abu Dhabi – he will get his money.”

Conspiracy theories have buzzed the Austin paddock, suggesting that Ferrari – Raikkonen’s new employers – put pressure on the Finn to sort out his back ahead of his return to Maranello.

Kimi Raikkonen won his 2007 world title with Ferrari and returns to the team starting 2014

Kimi Raikkonen won his 2007 world title with Ferrari and returns to the team starting 2014

Thus killing two birds with one stone, as Raikkonen’s absence would weaken Lotus’ bid to overcome the Italian team in the constructors’ title.

A scenario which Lopez clearly suspects, telling Auto Motor und Sport, “Maybe his new employer advised him that it would be better to seek treatment as soon as possible.”

Lopez also suspects that Ferrari might also have had something to do with Hulkenberg’s sudden unavailability for the seat in Austin and Brazil.

“It was too bad for us, but for sure also a shame for Nico. As I understand it, he was paid (by Sauber) all of a sudden, so he was no longer available to us,” he added.

Instead the team opted to give Heikki Kovalainen the task of replacing Raikkonen in the final two races. (Apex-GMM)

  • ZombieJebus

    Riiiiiiiight

  • Vin S

    Oh really Mr. Lopez!! I guess then you should have “paid him” as was agreed in the Contract. If you had done your part of the job as Kimi did his part brilliantly for your team… then this situation wouldn’t have arrived. Now all you are doing is saving your own incompetence with stupid statements.

  • Hugo

    Kimi’s a jerk? What are you smoking? He soldiered on way longer than I would have without a paycheck.

  • JodyRenza

    Lotus have really lost my support..Kimi is not the one at fault here…maybe Mr Lopez must adhere to proper ethics..says a lot about the company..!

  • Binoy

    lol… Lopez should change his profession and become a script writer. I’ve never seen someone cook up stories like this!! Pay KiMi,u damn idiot!!!

  • tod

    With no paycheck & continual pain from a bad back I do not blame Kimi! Just hope he shows Alonso & his ‘headaches’ what a good driver is really like!!
    Good Luck Kimi!!

  • Red Horizon

    The world is cruel, right Mr. Lopez? Actually I think Ferrari definitely can’t have forced Raikkonen to surgery, but assume that Ferrari may have blocked Hulkenberg: anyhow it’s uncertain whether he would immediately raced well on Lotus, you have seen Kovalainen.

  • matt

    Ferrari has a great pair of drivers for 2014! Kimi is a bit of a jerk, anyone who says otherwise is lying, but I agree with him screwing lotus on the last 2 races since they’ve been screwing him on his pay.

  • Garth

    @ Matt
    if a Jerk means being a super quick driver, ex WDC, straight talker, says what he means, means what he says, takes no bull and gives none, a real professional driver then you will be right

  • Candor

    @ Lopez

    go crawl back under a rock you stupid, lying, despicable piece of humanity