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Raikkonen confident back problem will not stop him competing in Korean Grand Prix
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Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Oct 2013   |  2:56 pm GMT  |  24 comments

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen says he does not believe his back problem will stop him competing in this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

The Finn needed a pain-killing injection before qualifying last time out in Singapore after a flare up of his long-standing back problem caused discomfort in final practice.

It is understood that the back issue dates back to his Formula 1 rookie year in 2001 with Sauber when he had a testing accident at Magny Cours.

Reserve river Davide Valsecchi was called up as a precaution in Singapore, but Raikkonen, 33, went on to qualify 13th and then finish an impressive third in the two-hour race on the bumpy Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Raikkonen, who is fourth in the drivers’ standings, 98 points behind leader Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, is hopeful the two-week break between races will have allowed his back to recover sufficiently so he can race.

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t going to race,” said Raikkonen. “It would be a bit pointless to come here if I didn’t think I was racing, but on Friday we will see. Right now it is okay, but it is always difficult to say until I drive and I see how it is, but I don’t think it will be a problem.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with it and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last. It’s something I’ve had to deal with for a long, long time, and sometimes it gets bad, sometimes not.

“I’ve been okay every year I’ve been racing, but sometimes I have to deal with the pain. Obviously with every year you get older you seem to come up with more issues. I’m sure we can deal with those things.”

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24 Comments
  1. Karima Shah says:

    If I was Ferrari, I’d make sure he goes in for a full physical right away, and have a back specialist do a thorough check of his back and come up with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If he cant be 100% fit, there is no point signing him to a 2 year contract with the prancing horse.

    1. Mandice says:

      chill.

      Its not the first time, and it wont be last.

      If its serious, i doubt you would see him driving the car.

      He knew better than anyone

    2. Jay says:

      Maybe Kimi has been practicing the James Hunt lifestyle a bit too much? Seems fishy to suddenly have the back flare up – maybe it was a late night for Kimi with the Missus?

      1. Sri says:

        Your comment actually says you do not know him and yet you write personal stuff as though you know all. He got divorced recently. Read Mika Salo’s interview on NBC Sports: http://www.racer.com/insider-talk-kimi-raikkonens-return-to-ferrari/article/314444/

      2. Harshad says:

        May be when you are yourself involved in a car accident at high speeds,you will know what pain is!

      3. Marybeth says:

        I read somewhere that Kimi’s seat was not tightly fastened in for the first practice at Singapore & he hit, it came loose, & he reinjured his back.

  2. Johnston says:

    Does Kimi like to drink Soju?

  3. Sebee says:

    Clearly Kimi’s back problems are same like George Costanza’s from Sainfeld. His post-Ferrari wallet was too think and years of sitting on it has thrown off his back alignment resulting in pinched nerves.

    See boys and girls – every excess has consequences! :-)

    1. furstyferret says:

      +1

    2. Random 79 says:

      Kimi overcame this problem by having two thick wallets, one from his salary and one from the ‘please leave we’d like Alonso now’ payout.

      The upshot is he ended up with one for each cheek resulting a perfect balance :)

      1. Sebee says:

        I thought he overcame the problem by balancing his post-Ferrari wallet with an envelope stuffed with Lotus back pay. But apparently he is finding out just like George, it’s just a wad of tissues.

    3. Sebee says:

      For those who haven’t seen:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoPf98i8A0g

      Note to someone in the Paddock this weekend. Post a flyer for a free guitar lesson for Kimi next to Lotus garage. He’ll take the coupon, instantly blow up his wallet thus bringing his back into alignment on next sit-down. Problem solved!

  4. shri says:

    If he is dealing with this problem for years and never missed a race there is no reason to believe he will not race unless he just cannot do it for medical reasons.

    1. Fan says:

      Missing races really wouldn’t be the concern – he will strap on his gear take whatever painkillers he needs to drive. What is in question is his performance during said races. It clearly had an impact on his qualifying in Singapore. Hope Ferrari had full disclosure and had this issue checked out or it could be a very expensive mistake.

  5. goferet says:

    This injury of Kimi must be similar to the one sustained by Bruce Lee and from what I recall, Bruce always had the pain in the back.

    But I can’t help but be impressed with these athletes for they’re highly motivated and professional as shown by the fact they’re willing to push through the pain barrier to carry out their job whereas in the real world, one can always call in sick if they have the flu.

    Now with Kimi’s secret injury out in the open, it appears Alonso has just discovered he has an ace up his sleeve in his battles with Kimi starting 2014.

  6. Mandice says:

    i saw picture of Kimi testing his seat with fellow mechanics. Kimi is working hard to make himself as comfortable as possible. Also prevent the seat from getting loosed and get himself another injury like in singapore.

    Great dedication.

  7. Elie says:

    I hurt my back a few weeks ago too – not warmed up& over exercised. Funny how people always look at the negative causes. People forget a formula 1 car will mess with a good back let alone one carrying past scarring.
    I think he proved last race that even after a very painful Sat (in more ways than 1),so long as he can reach the pedals and the steering wheel he is still a better chance than most. I hope he gets his back up this Sunday !

  8. Dave says:

    I have back problems too (not from racing of course) and occasionally it will flare up, hurt like hell for a while and then return to normal. It sounds like Kimi has the same sort of issues and it’s not really a big deal.

    I know I would not want to spend 2 hours on the Singapore circuit though if my back was bothering me. That had to be a VERY rough ride for him! Awesome podium finish from his grid position as well.

    Go KIMI!

  9. Random 79 says:

    I’ve been very lucky and have never experienced back pain, but I wonder: Would putting a bit of ice cream on it before a race help soothe the pain?

  10. Random 79 says:

    Seriously, massive, massive respect for Kimi.

    He’s in pain, he’s not getting paid, and still he’s out there racing and fighting for positions.

    Anyone who’s questioned his motivation, there’s your answer.

    1. James Hunt says:

      +1

      Exactly.

  11. Wouldn’t have anything to do with this would it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_68S3HLuRg

    Joking aside, I have a long standing back injury and have good and bad days/weeks. I personally cannot wait to see him back at Ferrari and wish him all the best

    Steve

  12. Eff1osaurus says:

    Big up to Kimi for still being prepared to race with an aching back whilst not being paid…that shows commitment and a desire to be up at the front…

    here’s my conspiracy theory (call it some light-hearted gossip mongering…

    Lotus know they haven’t paid Kimi. Kimi knows he isn’t being paid. Lotus need to find a new driver, and Kimis chances at the title are all but gone…

    With a new Fezza contract in the bag, Once Kimi is mathematically out of the title chase, would we see Valsecchi being put in the Lotus whilst Kimi’s back recovers…that way the Iceman is ready for 2014 with no side issues and Lotus can see where Valsecchi is in relation to Grojean and also havge a measure of how close Grosjean is to Kimi…

    All just speculation and theories…

    Bearing in mind the top 3 drivers in the championship get silverware, you can bet the above is pure fiction (it is!) and that the Iceman will be driving that Lotus to within an inch of it’s life in order to stay top 3, possibly try and het ahead of Alonso before the big Ferrari bunfight next year…

    Again – all respect to the man for going 13th to 3rd with a back issue…

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