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Raikkonen To Miss Final Races of 2013
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  10 Nov 2013   |  1:09 pm GMT  |  246 comments

Kimi Raikkonen is to miss the final two races of the 2013 Formula One season after choosing to undergo surgery for a recurring back problem.

The Finn, in his final fortnight as a Lotus driver before returning to Ferrari, has complained of back issues throughout the year and his manager Steve Robertson announced on Sunday morning that his driver will sit out the American and Brazilian Grand Prix.

It is a decision that F1 has been poised for in recent weeks, although the reasoning for his departure has come as a shock.

Raikkonen and the Lotus team have suffered a fraught relationship in recent months due to the 2007 World Champion not receiving ‘a single Euro’ during the 2013 season. Raikkonen is not often one to mince his words and his actions this year, such as missing Thursday media days, have made it obvious that both sides of the dispute will be happy to split.

Raikkonen will now head to Salzburg for the surgery, which is set to require a four week recovery period. That will allow sufficient recovery before he begins his commitments with Ferrari.

Robertson spoke to Autosport and Finnish Newspaper Turun Sanomat about his driver’s decision. “In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus in the final two grands prix,” said Robertson. “However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible.”

Ferrari were unaware of Raikkonen’s back problem when signing for the team, so this move was likely prompted by the heads at Maranello in order to ensure his fitness before pre-season begins in early 2014. Raikkonen was at Maranello this week for a 2014 seat fitting and the subject of his surgery may well have arisen then.

There is also the possibility of a Pirelli tyre test in Bahrain during December, which could make this sudden decision more necessary and understandable.

Lotus must now decide on the driver to partner Romain Grosjean in two crucial races for the team. They currently sit fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship but are on a fine run at this stage of the season, and have third placed Ferrari in their sights.

Reserve driver Davide Valsecchi is the likely candidate to fill the vacant seat, which would give the Italian 2012 GP2 Champion the perfect opportunity to illustrate his capabilities before Lotus make a final decision on their 2014 driver line-up.

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246 Comments
  1. Mitchel says:

    My word, exciting stuff.

    My vote for the replacement goes to Kovalainen, Kobayashi, Bruno Senna or Timo Glock.

    Or Mika, Schuey, Berger or Alesi ;)

    1. Sebee says:

      They need someone who can score points. My money is on Vettel being lent out. :-)

      1. Jimbo says:

        Sure is good news for lewis, he might even mange third in the WDC this year.

        Perhaps XIX management can get Fernando and Seb to retire too, it coulld help wiith next season.

      2. bob says:

        My thoughts EXACTLY!

        With Kimi gone, ‘the fastest driver in F1′ might actually have a chance of getting higher than 4th in the championship!! lol

        Although at this rate, I can see both Webber and Rosberg overtaking him.

        Imagine that! The ‘best driver in F1′, driving a car with nearly as many pole positions as RedBull, getting no higher than 4th in the WDC – AGAIN!

        Oh dear!

    2. Spyros says:

      There’s also the one they once ousted: Heidfield! :D

    3. Spyros says:

      …or, for a real mind-twister, Kubica!

      1. BW says:

        He’s a reserve driver for Ferrari, he might be more fit than both their 2014 drivers :)

      2. MikeyB says:

        +1 for BW: Comment of the Year!

        Ferrari with both its drivers carrying lingering injuries into 2014, when the new high-torque engines will increase stresses on their aging drivers’ bodies. Don’t lose Felipe’s phone number!

    4. Christos Pallis says:

      Problem is if they can’t pay Kimi then how are they going to pay a substitute driver! Valsheci is their best free choice ha ha

      1. Equin0x says:

        I’m sure their reserve driver grts paid a fraction of Raikkonen’s salary, prbably in the regions of 50k euros or so, a easy wage for Lotus to pay.

    5. deancassady says:

      The race seat should go to someone who has at least driven the car this year; or if they do, indeed, have their money situation sorted out, why not bring Hulkenberg, now; because, after all, he hasn’t been paid, either.
      As for the Kimi move; it just so worked out, win-win, for Kimi-Ferrari.
      Think of what Kimi, in the Lotus may well do, in the final two races!?! It looks very, very plausible (far from a done deal, mind you), that a Lotus team of Kimi and Romain, could well, beat Ferrari to third in the constructors, and possibly even take Mercedes, for second.
      Maranello needs all the help it can get; I don’t know about the others, paying very close attention to everything they can, but I see a somewhat eerie mirror in Fernando. I thought he was already cleared to race!?!
      Now he has to get checked out again?
      My spidey senses are telling me to NOT be surprised if Alonso is not cleared to race, because of back trauma, and thus MISSES THE RACE!
      Maranello need all the help they can get, though, and Alonso is as good a shot as they have right now, unless he really is disabled.
      I’ve said it before, but now the confluence of patterns is validating previous assertion doubting Alonso’s continued team partnership for 2014.
      It’s coming to a head.
      Thus, I am looking forward to the weekend, to see what happens, though disappointed that one of the real interesting competitions, right now, is the still only potential, intra-team rivalry, in progress, for Ferrari 2014.

      1. Mitchel says:

        I was thinking the Hulk would be interesting, also.

        Infact, I wouldn’t mind seeing any of the current grid trying out the Lotus.

        Remember when Fisi went from Force India superstar at Spa to Ferrari-hell-then-retirement? Crazy stuff.

    6. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      For me it’s all but Kimi not being paid… That helps Ferrari to keep 3rd in the WCChampionship.

      I think that that means nothing for HAMILTON, he’s already with his mind in another planet.
      If 2nd means nothing for a driver, 3rd or 4th it doesn’t exist for them.-

  2. Spyros says:

    I suppose this must be music to the ears of many young hopefuls. Could be interesting.

    1. Rayz says:

      Absolutely. DV is surely the heavy favourite though. Can they call a guy a reserve driver if when they need a reserve driver, they call on somebody else.

      On a side note, what a shame that this is the way that the Raikkonen/Lotus partnership ends. What a two years they have had together. 2 wins, umpteen podiums, 3rd in the drivers championship both seasons. And both driver and team have captured the hearts of F1 with the character that is the Iceman and the underdog nature of the Lotus team. Hopefully Kimi gets fully fit for 2014. The sport needs him at the moment in my opinion. He draws a massive fan base in a time when characters in F1 are very scarce indeed.

      1. Spyros says:

        “Can they call a guy a reserve driver if when they need a reserve driver, they call on somebody else.”

        Of course they can — and they have! When Schumi broke his legs in Silverstone, their official test driver was Badoer… but they went for Mika Salo.

        The story went that Salo was actually getting married the day they wanted him to test the car (back when in-season testing was the norm). So the dialog supposedly went something like “I can’t test on Saturday, I’m getting married.” “Oh. What time?” :D

      2. Spyros says:

        Ooops, sorry, obviously this is about what Lotus might do with their test driver, not Ferrari… I suppose I’m already thinking of Kimi in red, and got confused!

      3. Rayz says:

        A test driver in those days though is much different to what a reserve driver is now. A test driver didnt have to be lightning quick, it was all about testing new parts, pounding round a track and being able to give excellent feedback. A reserve driver only gets a bit of sim work every now and again so there is a difference.

        So I think if a team employs a reserve driver, its not for testing, so he should be put in the car if a driver has to sit out a GP.

        Otherwise, it doesnt make any sense to have him. If he doesnt fill in for Kimi, he is not a reserve driver any longer, rather a sim driver.

      4. P says:

        Well said.

      5. Tim says:

        @Rayz 3rd in the drivers championship both seasons. …

        I’d be surprised if he hangs onto 3rd this season.

      6. Rayz says:

        Well we can only judge him based on his races completed surely? If he had to sit out half the season and finished 10th in the standings it wouldnt be an accurate reflection of his performance. But I take your point, he wont end up 3rd. We’ll call it 3rd thru 17/19 races.

    2. Gabrielle says:

      Pic could very well use that seat. He has a strong link with Renault – if the were interested, pretty sure some kind of deal could be set.

  3. Irish con says:

    Kevin magnussen thrown in by mclaren to blood him for next year? He’s better than davide

  4. German Samurai says:

    Good for him. He should have walked away from them the moment he was out of the championship.

    Shame on Lotus for making no attempt to fulfill their contractual obligations.

    1. Tim says:

      Out of interest how do you know what attempts Lotus did or didn’t make to fulfil their obligations?
      If the decision was yours, who would you have paid – the several hundred employees back at the factory, or the multi millionaire driver?
      I would say it’s a no brainer, Kimi wouldn’t have exactly been starving whilst he waited for his money at the end of the season (once the team had received their prize money), where as the factory workers hardly had the same luxury. If anyone should be ashamed, it’s Kimi, for letting down all the hundreds of people back at Enstone.

      1. Erik says:

        Incorrect. Kimi wanted nothingnmore than what the management team signed him up for. You can’t exactly say that Kimi has not delivered on his side of the agreement can you?

        Yet another example of Lotus bosses stuffing up a realtionship with a driver – Petrov, Heidfeld, Bruno Senna? Now Kimi. If these guys can’t afford this level of drivers maybe they should start being honest and not waste everyones time. They’re burning a lot of bridges.

        This is a swift one pulled by Ferrari. In one move they have ensured their new driver is fit next year and at the same time taken away their main competitors’ asset for fighting it out the championship this year (for second).

      2. Tim says:

        I agree that Ferrari have a hand in this turn of events, but I am not sure how you conclude that Lotus are their main competition for second place in the WCC. I would have thought that was Mercedes.

      3. Ash says:

        HAHA! What!? Kimi let them down? You’re having a laugh right?

      4. Vivek S says:

        What rubbish! Everyone gets paid based on how valuable they are to the business. They do not get paid based on who “deserves” the money more.

        Your own argument can be turned against you by saying the driver is the one who puts his life and well being on the line every time he suits up. Do the engineers do that? So who deserves it more?

        As to the question of deciding who to pay: Its a business decision by Enstone. And once they take that decision, they need to cope with the fallout be it unpaid engineers or an unpaid driver. Both parties (driver/engineers) are equally justified in protesting if they don’t get paid. Enstone needs to handle it either way.
        So asking “what would you have done?” is besides the point. They should have averted the situation in the first place. If you can’t avert it, do business elsewhere.

      5. Tim says:

        Clearly the entire situation is regrettable. However, it is also a reality. Someone in authority had to decide how to cut up the pie and distribute the slices – there wasn’t enough to go round, so someone went without. I agree with Lotus’ decision that it should be should be Kimi, obviously he can most readily afford to wait. You may disagree – makes no difference to me either way ;-)

      6. Fireman says:

        Lotus hasn’t paid employees either.

      7. Equin0x says:

        Are you serious? Without the top driver like Raikkonen all these factory workers’s job would be for nothing plus yes the top men at Lotus are still on good money but the regular people at the factory’s jobs could be done by almost anyone with a bit of training, but Kimi’s job? How many people in the world is better than him? 3-4 max. If they failed to pay him then they have let him down considering how many points he gained for the WCC, good on Raikkonen for leaving the unpaid circus early maybe Permaine’s swearing at himcfor racing was the last straw, I’d like to see him at Ferrari for the final race, get on the podium and Lotus finish 4th.

      8. Adrien Terrenoire says:

        “but the regular people at the factory’s jobs could be done by almost anyone with a bit of training”

        Do you have any background, citations, or other data to suggest this is true? I would expect there is real talent and experience that comes into play in the factory too. It certainly has been my experience generally as an engineer in the automotive industry.

    2. DC says:

      I imagine if Lotus had the money available to pay him his contractual amount they would have – this is a symptom of the dire financial straits virtually all the teams outside of RB, Ferrari and Mercedes are either in, or will be in shortly…

      Lotus’ management made a call between two options – pay the multimillionaire driver his retainer, or continue to be able to pay the mechanics and other staff at the factory who have mortgages and families to look after, and without whom the business would have no value either to new sponsors or to be sold on…

      Whilst I totally agree Raikkonen is owed what he signed up for, it’s worth remembering he is part of a team; and not only that, but a team that took a chance on him two years ago and whose members created a car that allowed him to raise is stock back up again in F1.

      This whole episode doesn’t do anyone any favours, but i’ve lost a lot of respect for Raikkonen in terms of how its been dealt with in the press etc. Also makes you look back to his ‘I know what i’m doing’ radio messages, and wonder how Ferrari are going to cope with TWO petulant, toys-out-of-pram drivers next year. Fireworks!

      1. David C says:

        This whole pay the people in the factory crap is a smokescreeen, Kimi dosent want to be paid instead of them, what he wants is Lotus to hire a driver they can afford. Surly they would have known at the start of the season that they couldnt afford Kimi (since they didnt even pay him his first month) and they could have released Kimi from his contract and went and lined up a pay driver.

      2. petes says:

        Wow. Yet you still have respect for the pair behind Lotus?
        Certainly, IF, Kimi’s no money is to prop up the crew at the factory, that is commendable. We don’t know that for certain.
        Team owners that enter into contracts that they can’t fulfil are scum in my views.

      3. DanAbnormal says:

        Counting RAI’s money is not the “team” concept either, and is only meant to shame the higher-earners.

        If you can’t pay your bills, and management is forced to manage the business by crisis, where is the trust needed to drive on the edge? Would you trust them with your life?

        Would you trust a neurosurgeon that ran his shop the way Lotus runs their team?

        No, nor would I.

      4. Erik says:

        I would say that Kimi is a part of the team, yes, but by the same token so is the Lotus management. Who has done a better job this year?..

        Boulier and co. have done very poorly at managing this situation, not for the first time either. Let’s remeber that, when we’re talking about who should be paid at Lotus. The mechanics etc should start looking at why they are in this situation to begin with instead of looking at Kimi, who is only trying to get what the bosses signed him up for.

        Anyway, he’s gone now, good luck to Lotus.

      5. Jon says:

        Firstly:

        Lotus entered a contract, and agreed to pay what they did.

        If Lotus weren’t in a position to pay a top draw driver, then they shouldn’t have signed one and taken on the contract!

        They had trouble paying Kimi in both seasons he was there.

        Secondly:

        Without the points Kimi has brought in over the last year (207 – Romain’s 96) they’d have been no-where last season, and probably in worse straits financially as a result due to lost prize money and reduced sponsorship leverage.

      6. F1 Obsessed says:

        Excellent post DC, totally agreed with just about everything you said. However, I don’t know that Raikkonen is so much of a “toys-out-of-pram” type driver (for sure we know Alonso, Vettel and a few other top tier drivers are quite spoiled!). I honestly think Raikkonen simply doesn’t give a sh*t about the mechanics/strategies/politics of F1 and has a very short fuse. He’s simply there because he likes driving fast and wants his millions of $$$.

      7. German Samurai says:

        It’s $20m? What do you think they’ve spent on car development since the start of the year? What do you think they’ve spent on car development this year for next year’s car? There’s no way the management in that team are not getting paid.

        This is scandalous what Lotus are doing.

      8. Ticketyboo says:

        +1

      9. Fireman says:

        Lotus didn’t have any options, since they don’t have any money. There are more people in the team who haven’t received paychecks.

      10. Hardy says:

        “Lionel Messi is injured and will not play next game. I dont respect him anymore” ??? I cant understand why Kimi should race when injured?

      11. Zinobia says:

        That is just completely nonsense Lotus should have used their budget better. Kimi isn’t in charge of budget.

        They have wasted millions making PR videos with Ridley Scott, could they rather have used that money to pay the poor employees?

        They have wasted a lot of money developing a useless PDRS system for two years, couldn’t they rather have used that money to pay their employees?

        Kimi already lower his salary from last year so that Lotus’s cash flow could be better this season. It is their own responsibility to not spend money that they dont have. It is one of the simplest principles.

      12. Elie says:

        They gave him an opportunity 2 years ago and he delivered earning them more money than they ever earned. He exceeded their expectations and they failed on their obligations!

        Kimi has always conducted himself much better than the few posters who think a) not being paid is ok b) being told to get the f/k out of the way is ok c) being promised that funding from Qantum is coming when clearly it isn’t d) question his professionalism when drives with severe back pain despite the above.
        Seriously you posters that are questioning “respect” for Kimi ??
        You never had it or even understand respect is mutual !
        No one with an ounce of comprehension and understanding needs your respect– certainly not Kimi Raikkonen.

      13. deancassady says:

        Here, here.
        Indeed!
        lol

    3. All revved-up says:

      Another week goes by and still no money.

      Is the Quantum deal on or off? Is there another deal other than Quantum?

      Kimi has made a tough call – but the right one. You have to draw the line somewhere. When receivables are over 90 days outstanding alarm bells should go off.

      I think a legal fight will be required to recover some money from Lotus.

      Lotus risks losing not just Kimi but other talent in the team.

      Perhaps James Allison hasn’t been paid in full too.

  5. Michael S says:

    As an American I am very bummed Kimi will miss our GP. This track seems to be a driver favorite already and I know he enjoys coming to the States. Can’t help but wonder if Lotus still has not put any money in his account as promised. There are only 14 days left in the season.

    However, if his pain is as bad as it sounds like it has been then perhaps every day of recovery before 2014 testing starts might be the prudent move.

    1. William says:

      Indeed. I wish I could get a refund now.

    2. Sebee says:

      I think Kimi should do some plastic while he’s under. Taking 5 years of the face can’t hurt his chances to race well into his 40s. Help take the dacade of partying off his face keep those lame marketing directors off his back.

      1. James Allen says:

        Actually in the flesh he looks fitter and healthier than he did in ’08 and ’09.

      2. Elie says:

        Even after the hottest races – Bahrain, Abu Dhabi , Singapore he looks thresher than the others after fighting his way through the pack.. I think he’s always been a lot fitter than people give him credit.

      3. Chromatic says:

        Slight off track, James: Is it true that Kimi has had a street named after him in Maranello?

      4. Sebee says:

        Would make sense Chromatic, Kimi is a Ferrari WDC, and there aren’t many of those around lately. Honestly, I won’t lose sleep if there is no via Alonso in Maranello. :-)

      5. All revved-up says:

        Ha ha ha. Enjoyed that.

        Kimi’s 2014 outlook : New girlfriend, new face lift, shiny new Ferrari . . .

        Man, what a life!

      6. Rich C says:

        lmao
        My first good laugh of the day!

  6. Seán Craddock says:

    I hope they choose Valsecchi. He deserves some race time. Only GP2 champion not to be given a race seat (Bar Pantano who had a race seat before GP2)

    1. Rishi says:

      +1 but even as a test driver it’s difficult to come in at this point in the season and be quick straight away. I actually think he’d do well to score points in Texas but either way I really hope he does get his chance because he could end up doing really well.

  7. Chris Rowley says:

    I smell a rat. All too convenient

    1. Mojo66 says:

      I agree. Lotus is challenging Ferrari for the #3 spot in the constructors championship, and now their main points collector, who will be a Ferrari driver next year, is out. I heard that the difference between #4 and #3 is around 10 mil, that should be enough money at stake for Ferrari to buy Kimi out and for Lotus to try and get a more experienced guy in. If they let Valsecci drive, they basically write off the challenge for the #3 spot, which would be a shame given their recent advantage on track over Ferrari.

    2. Steve Rogers says:

      I agree. I think he’s secured the money and has then chosen to have the operation early to punish Lotus.

    3. Grant H says:

      I agree this seems too strange, based on current form one could expect lotus to take p3 from ferrari, its no surprise ferrari will insist on kimi having the op now….there are £10 million reasons why ferrari would insist so

      I just dont buy it there is more to it -above the recovery period is 4 weeks even if he had the op after the final race he would be recovered by christmas – leaving loads of time to get in shape

      I remember not a few years ago webber managed a major op on his legs and recovery in the off season

      Mark my words this is either ferrari going for the constructors or a result of kimi’s pay dispute

      Dont believe this is true

    4. Fireman says:

      It would certainly seem so, but Turun Sanomat reports that the back pain comes and goes, and after Abu Dhabi it was severe. Then again, the gains for Kimi are obvious:

      1) Making sure he’s fully healed for 2014
      2) No need to be in the center of the media for the last two races
      3) No need to go to the FIA Gala to receive the trophy for 3rd place :D

  8. Chris Ralph says:

    Blimey! Have Ferrari signed up a couple of crocks? Better dug those contracts out of the bottom drawer, and reconsider the no-youth policy…

    1. MISTER says:

      Crocks? What’s wrong with you?
      The guy is in pain with his back, he’s out of the championship, he hasn’t been paid this season and he’s been insulted on live radio messages by his own team. What do you expect him to do? Continue driving in pain and damage his start of the season with Ferrari in order to help a team which doesn’t even treat him with the respect that he deserves for all the results and points he scored for them?

      1. J.Danek says:

        Well said, MISTER!!!

        Good for Kimi being able to resolve this now and begin his recovery and training for 2014, when he’ll return to a rEAL F1 team!

      2. Chris Ralph says:

        No insult to Kimi! Just looking at it from Ferrari management point of view, especially given their 50+ year heritage from The Founder of driver vs car importance and thus their driver dispensability policy. They’d have to be thinking about the risks for next year – back injuries can recur and both drivers are getting on in F1 terms. Both drivers are also famously mercurial in different ways which is why I am a fan of each, so there’s no need to defend them.

      3. Erik says:

        +1, except for the REAL F1 team bit, lol. Ferrari need to lift their game..

      4. Fireman says:

        And Kimi, being a good guy that he is, at least informed the team a week before the race that he’s not coming.

  9. Christos Pallis says:

    I am sure it’s unlikely but it would be great for them to get Hulkenberg but sauber I’m sure won’t want to let him go!

    1. Paul says:

      I thought hulkenberg was a free agent as sauber haven’t paid him so he’s free to leave whenever he wants

      Although it would be nice to see a new driver given a chance I must agree

      I hope alonso isn’t fit to so bianchi gets a chance to show what he can do too!

    2. JCA says:

      I believe Hulk cancelled his contract earlier this season, after not being paid

      1. Sasidharan says:

        So there are two types of drivers in F!.
        1. Pay Drivers
        2. Free Drivers
        ;)

  10. Lockon says:

    Whatever the case of “convenient timing” or any other conspiracy theories, I would just say that it’s a shame that his lotus career ended with a retirement at abu dhabi. Well….where one thing ends, another begins. Hopefully he’s in fighting form when he begins at ferrari.

  11. Sebee says:

    To show how #1 Alonso is, Ferrari orders Kimi to do the back surgery for injured Alonso. ;-)

    Get better soon Kimi! Remeber, no parties, no drinking, but ice cream is OK.

    1. Antti says:

      LOL, that really made me laugh.

      1. J.Danek says:

        +1!!! lol…

    2. PaulD says:

      Love this comment.

    3. Leave him alone – he knows what he is doing!!! ;D

    4. babyboo says:

      Lol. u make my day.hahaa

  12. Dane says:

    A disappointing end to the successful Lotus/Raikkonen combination, but I’m glad Valsecchi may finally get a chance in F1.

  13. Mikeboy0001 says:

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with Lotus hunting Ferrari down for the 3rd place on the constructors championship
    Shame on Raikkonen, on a team employing hundreds, he only shows self-interest
    Lost my respect on him

    1. Simmo says:

      How would you feel if your boss didn’t pay you for a year’s work?

      1. Mikeboy0001 says:

        Please don’t ask me to feel sorry, moneywise, for an F1 star.
        My thoughts are with the hundreds that with a tight budget come up with a great car year after year
        Every single driver on the grid would rather get a good car (as Raikkonen did) than a millionaire paycheck. Money is important, but shouldn’t be the ultimate goal in F1, specially for someone who’s already full of it
        The same happened last year, and he was paid at the last race, so why should he wait any different this time?
        If money was the issue, the best way for him to collect it, would be to ensure the team could finish 2nd in the championship
        The thing is, now the Quantum deal is assured, his money should be assured, and with the recent visit at Ferrari headquarters, this show’s the stuff one’s made of
        F1 ends in less than 2 weeks, so why now?
        It’s a cynical maneuver, but Raikkonen’s fans are too touchy, and as everything he does is gold, they will never get it, and think he’s the only true thing in the sport!!!

      2. Tessa says:

        You know, I can’t believe the people who question Kimi’s integrity and motivation just because he’s decided to get back surgery! Take away all of the circumstances surrounding Kimi and Lotus right now, does the man not have the right to prioritize his health? Nobody has disputed Kimi’s back problem so why should some people who do not work in Formula 1, or actually know the person, make such unkind comments?

        Furthermore, your argument that Kimi should not prioritize his salary because he’s already rich is not the point. The point is he (along with all the other Lotus employees) should get paid because he is a professional racing driver and Lotus is a professional racing team! Lotus have made a contract with him and they broke it two years in a row. In spite of that, Kimi has helped them win 4th in Constructors’ in 2012 and he has more than half of their points haul in 2013. How is that, as you say, “shame on Raikkonen”?

        The timing of his surgery may be suspect to you, but what do you expect the man to do? Wait until the end of the season when his back is even worse and let his recovery time run into his preparation for 2014? What would’ve you argued against Kimi then?

        I for one will miss the good ol’ Kimi-Lotus days. It was a great partnership. I wish it could’ve ended differently but as Kimi would say, it is what it is…

        I hope everything goes well with his surgery and he recovers quickly!

      3. Why is this year different from last, you ask? Well, the biggest difference is that last year Kimi had some leverage as he would be returning to the team. No pay? No return. No he’s leaving, so how can he actually get them to pay. If he was complacent until the end of the year, he could just get stiffed for the money as there are few consequences for Lotus. They’ll just be burning a bridge with a driver that will never return to their team anyway. He needed to step up with a few races to go while he still had some chips to bargain with.

      4. tarun says:

        so what about the footballers in the premier league who get paid millions per week by your argument they should be playing for the love of sport and not ask for any money. well first of all this isn’t the amateur era anymore and secondly these athletes put their bodies on the line so they truly deserve the millions they receive. Lotus made promises to kimi through the year and then backed out of it, lotus hasnt done any favor to raikkonen for having him in the team, it has been a fruitful relationship for both the parties here. and if you dont believe me, just look at their 2 seasons before raikkonen came to lotus and quantify the impact he has made for them. From Kimi’s perspective why should he keep putting his body on the line when the other party is working on bad faith

    2. Sebee says:

      Interesting point. Thanks for reminding us how no wrong can happen with this for Ferrari in this year standing. 3rd locked up, maybe even 2nd.

    3. MISTER says:

      Funny you talk about respect. Put yourself in Kimi’s position..he’s out of the championship, hasn’t been paid and was shows no RESPECT (the same that you talk about) in India by his own team. Why would he risk further damaging his back and start the season with Ferrari with a problem?

      1. babyboo says:

        +1000000000000000000000000

      2. Mikeboy0001 says:

        India was no different from in Abu Dhabi in 2012
        At the time, the Lotus team was to blame for nonsense radio calls when Kimi was leading the race, this time Kimi was to blame for nonsense block on his team mate hunted down by Massa
        It’s on the heat of the moment, and was good to see in either way
        Of course biased fans won’t look at it that way
        Oh, and do you really think Kimi will miss the last 2 races because of his back?

      3. MISTER says:

        Dude, it doesn’t matter if it was on the heat of the moment. It was a lack of respect. These are professionals which are being told what to say and what not to say.
        And this radio message was just my example to you about respect. I don’t rly think that had anything to do with Kimi’s decission. He put his health and phisical condition above the team’s interest, which is perfectly fine from where I come from.
        Deal with it and stop crying about. You actually talk about biased fans, but you clearly are one.

      4. Mikeboy0001 says:

        So let’s see
        1) It’s a back problem he’s had since 2001
        2) He was able to race in the toughest and bumpy GP of the season, Singapore
        3) Now, suddenly after a Ferrari visit, he can’t race in the smoothest race in the calendar, Austin Texas
        I like Kimi, he’s fast, consistent and funny, but my eyes are meant to see what’s true, not what’s convenient

      5. MISTER says:

        It doesn’t matter the track surface. With his current problem, if he goes over the kerbs like Alonso in Abu Dhabi, he can damage his back to the extent that he will have to miss 2014 season. Why would he do that if there’s nothing for him to win? He can’t win the championship, he hasn’t been paid and the team treat him like an outsider. THINK!

      6. Mikeboy0001 says:

        So he’s had that problem for twelve years, but suddenly it became an issue after signing for Ferrari!!!
        THINK!!!
        Ferrari is the team who’s got so much to loose if Lotus end’s 3rd in the championship
        Firstly Lotus will have more money and that will able them to sign Hulkenberg for 2014, a great driver, and not Maldonado, a poor one.
        Sencondly, Ferrari will be in under huge pressure if they end off the podium, and Italian media will o doubt call for a lot of heads to roll(starting with Domenicali)
        So Ferrari obviously have a lot of interest for Raikkonen not running the last GP’s
        Also I don’t see any sense in a driver not getting into a car for not getting hurt, this is F1 for Christ’s sake!!!

      7. MISTER says:

        LOL! You’ve seen too make conspiracy movies :))

    4. Toby says:

      Interesting viewpoint given all that we’ve learned this season about the relationship between Lotus and Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen’s back problem appears genuine, and it also appears that the tension between him and the team is also genuine. He raced without payment and raced well. The team was able to pay its rank-and-file members and continue development. I would say that all parties have received benefit, assuming Raikkonen is paid in full. Having said that, assume none of this happened, you would lose respect for a driver who decided not to race due to a back injury? Curious.

      1. Mikeboy0001 says:

        If the problem was genuine, of course it would be legitimate for him, or any other driver, not to race
        But here’s the thing:
        He’s had that back problem since 2001, that’s twelve years
        This season, the issue was at it worst prior to the extremely bumpy and the toughest race on the calendar, the Singapore GP
        In the next GP, he stated the problem was much better
        Now if he was able to race in Singapore, why can’t he at least race in one of the smoothest track surfaces in the world, the brand new Austin Texas?
        Well, let’s see, in september, no Ferrari contract was signed
        Again, was this action taken by any other driver, and people would look at it very differently

      2. Lockster says:

        Mikeboy0001 I think you made your position pretty clear in your previous 20 posts…

    5. aidan says:

      How do you show respect to an employer who hasn’t paid you all year

    6. gollino says:

      Kimi is the only one not getting paid though….
      Lotus should have at least given him a couple, of those 15 millions they agreed as his salary.
      I understand he is a multimillionaire that does not need the money, yet is the one putting his life on the line driving the car.

    7. German Samurai says:

      Oh yeah he should have gone out there and risked his life, health, and career for a team that are refusing to pay the $20 million they promised him.

      Lotus are a cowboy operation.

    8. KARTRACE says:

      Those hundreds could’ve collected money and paid their driver. F1 ain’t charity.

    9. the kiLLing JoKe says:

      Everytime Raikkonen scores points the Lotus tab for his services gets bigger. It makes one think about Permane’s response after Kimi passed Romain for third at Bahrain; something to the effect of ‘Damn it man, we owe the bastard enough money already’! My guess is the quantum money is coming soon enough, but not soon enough for Kimi, and Lotus would rather think about the future as they owe Raikkonen plenty.

    10. ETM says:

      If this causes you to lose respect for Kimi you had no respect him in the first place. This was a good solution to a crappy situation for both parties that was started by Lotus not living up to its contractual obligations.

      1. Mikeboy0001 says:

        Yes I did, mainly as a driver but also character
        Lets not forget that if Ferrari loose 3rd place to Lotus, heads will have to rool there
        If this Hamilton, Alonso or specially Vettel, everyone would bash them for understanding it was a cynical deal between the driver and Ferrari to hurt Lotus
        Since it’s Kimi, and none of the others, no problem
        It’s the old two weights, two measures that so many fans like to apply to their drivers

    11. Elie says:

      My response to this has been (rightly) moderated. It correctly tells this poster what he can with his understanding of respect

      1. Mikeboy0001 says:

        Hey Elie, grow up, school is over

    12. Marybeth says:

      I wonder if maybe things were going on behind the scenes at Abu Dhabi. Since this is Kimi’s life on the line & he needs to be able the trust the people on the wall calling the shots…& the trust is gone…he is removing himself…?

  14. C Lin says:

    Great decision by Raikkonen.

    Since not having been paid a single euro (totally disrespectful from Lotus), better get his back treated & be ready for his future commitment.

    As Daniel Ricciardo puts it,Kimi is a world champion for crying out loud, & he needs to paid & its as simple as that! Ricciardo also this issue of drivers not being paid has been discussed in the GPDA.

    1. Matthew Cheshire says:

      I’m no huge Kimi fan but yes, you do have to respect his decision.

      Not only should he put himself, his health and his new employer first, but the right thing for the other drivers and teams is to withdraw his services.

      Pay drivers are an issue, unpaid drivers is just shameful. Teams should not be allowed to bid for a driver and then pay nothing.

      Kimi should have been elsewhere with a team that made him an affordable offer.

  15. Simmo says:

    Lotus was the only team to have a 3rd driver race in 2012, and also now in 2013! But this time it is the other way round!

    A shame that we can’t see Kimi racing any more but at least we’ll see some young talent.

    1. Simmo says:

      I’m not sure that it is at all from a reliable source but I’ve just heard that Hulkenberg will replace Kimi!

  16. If i were Boullier, I would be trying to get someone with recent F1 experience. Schumacher, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, etc. I wouldn’t put in a rookie and risk losing those points.

    1. tarun says:

      and then whats the point of having gp2 champion Valsechi in the team if you are gonna go for bunch of has beens??

      1. Valsecchi is a promising young driver with potential. Same kind of potential as Grosjean. How did Grosjean do when he stepped in to replace Piquet? Pretty awful.

        The team needs someone that will step in and deliver right away, even if it’s only a fifth and a seventh. Their potential can be limited, as long as they get to their maximum immediately. Valsecchi can wait for 2014 if he truly has the talent, whereupon he can develop into another Grosjean, with the benefit of 15 or 20 million euros more budget because some “has been” scored a few mediocre points finishes and helped Lotus secure third.

      2. Aaron Noronha says:

        Gp2 Car is still 10 seconds slower than an F1 car and newbies need time to get up to speed without sufficient testing. A has been driver wont be so off the pace(Remember Sutil) compared to a newbie so the odds favor a tried and tested driver. But i too agree partly with you, Whats the point of a calling a driver a reserve driver if he isnt given an opportunity to drive when one of the drivers isnt able to?

    2. Shane says:

      I wouldn’t call Heidfeld, Kovalienen has-beens. I think they both have more to offer than a number of current drivers. As for Schumacher, I think with Lewis’ arrival at Mercedes we have seen that Rosberg is a much more capable driver than anyone thought which leads me to the conclusion that Schumacher was doing just fine.

      Kobayashi, well… We never really got to see what he could do since he didn’t have enough financial backing to stay in F1. His form was on the ascendant when the rug was pulled out from under him. It is a shame that Sauber had to choose a driver with financing over a driver who scored a podium for them at Suzuka.

  17. Stephen Taylor says:

    I wouldn’t say autosport is a great source . Let’s see what Lotus have to say first.

  18. DK says:

    It also looks like the Quamtum deal is delayed again.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      I get the strong suspicion that the whole Quantum deal is just made up for the rest of the world to “buy” Lotus some time until they can seal a serious sponsorship contract, which is why I’m smelling PDVSA approaching, with Maldonado.

      Googling for Mansoor Ijaz (Quantum) you quickly find things like “Mansoor Ijaz ordered to pay $1.4m to bank in fraud case”, him being a commentator on a women’s wrestling match (sounds like a serious business man’s job, doesn’t it?) or him being unable to prove “his” proclaimed contributions to uncovering the “memogate” scandal.

      For some reason it smells like “QADBAK” and “Broker”, two famous tickets to nowhere, I wonder where that odour comes from – any idea?

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Given that a Quantum is-

        “the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction”

        you have to think it has always been a very small amount of hot air. And as you say, doesn’t smell pleasant either.

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        The question may be not how Quantum appears, but does Quantum appear to be better than Genii for the Enstone Team?

        Would you do business with Lopez and Lux of Genii with the current financial mess?

        Would you sponsor Lotus after everything that has been going on?

        Would you invest in Lotus with their debts and also knowing that they are not one of the chosen teams by Bernie (Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Merc). Meaning even if they finish second in the constructors champ they get less bonus cash for future years than all these teams.

        Would you invest in a team that, despite winning drivers and constructors titles, has been pegged as an outsider midfield team by Bernie?

        Would you invest in a team where the money from the sport of F1 goes to CVC shareholders so they can make their £600 million profit (2012), then offload it elsewhere, meanwhile the team members go unpaid.

        F1 is in deep *, CVC and/or Bernie should be paying Kimi and ensuring Enstone doesn’t die a quick or a slow death for the sake of the sport which is heading for 4 teams forced to run 4 cars each!

  19. yassin says:

    Think of it Eric’s Bouliers way ‘Kimi is rich so he can wait, Kimi should be a team player’ then Lotus goes into administration.

    As one F1 commentator very rightly pointed out, Lotus did not foresee Kimi earning so many points thus making them fork out bonuses every race (Not this season of course)

  20. Joe B says:

    Fair play to Kimi. He has no obligation to Lotus, and it’s prudent for him to give himself as much time to recover as possible. I hope the decision is reflected in good form next year.

  21. Andy says:

    The important question is had Raikkonen been paid by Lotus when he should have, would he still be planning to have surgery and if so, when was he planning to have it.

    It seems he has found a legitimate excuse to tell Lotus to ‘go and swivel on that’.

    Lotus and Genii have only got themselves to blame, it’s poor business management. It’s such a shame when they have produced a good car.
    Considering the predicament they find themselves in money wise, Valsecchi is a risky option.
    They need someone to bring in a good haul of points.

  22. Kay says:

    Can’t help to think the ‘back pain’ of Kimi comes from Lotus haven’t paid their driver’s salary for 2013, and the trigger to all this came from Alan Permane. Maybe what Kimi meant was a certain issue from Lotus was “a pain in the back”, had enough and decided to just leave for good rather than tolerate any longer.

    Sorry not to see Kimi again until 2014 :(

    1. Zinobia says:

      The back comes from the fact that Kimi’s seat wasn’t fitted properly in Singapore. He was scheduled to have surgery at the end of the season.

  23. Sarvar says:

    So this means:
    1. Quantum (whatever) promises have failed as expected
    2. Lotus couldn’t fulfill its commitment to pay off Kimi’s outstanding salary
    Show goes on…next time both parties likely to meet in court.

    1. Rich C says:

      You think?
      The whole team could crater if this continues.

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        I sincerly hope for Lotus that Mansoor Ijaz is not the next Russell King (remember: QADBAK, Bahrain Capital International), but well, judge for yourself:

        http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C02%5C18%5Cstory_18-2-2012_pg7_16

        http://www.frumforum.com/mansoor-ijazs-record-speaks-for-itself/

        http://news.oneindia.in/2012/01/19/twist-in-pak-s-memogate-scam-a-naked-wrestling-act.html

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/21/mansoor-ijaz-response-post.html

        That raises some question marks, doesn’t it? One of the big question marks that it raises is: Are Lux and his people incapable of using Google and what have compliance agreements of sponsors and technical partners got say regarding someone who has been convicted of fraud?

        Are greed, need and hope blinding the leadership of the Lotus team?

  24. Elie says:

    This is such a great pity for so many different reasons. A great relationship over the last 2 years ended when a troubled team totally disrespected and even showed their scorn on social media to the one person who elevated them from a midfield team to a genuine title contender. This must not be forgotten.
    It’s disappointing because Kimi has worked through obvious great pain, and tolerance of public and financial discourse from Lotus and no one wants to see such a successful partnership end this way. But people turning a blind eye to Lotus scorn and disrespect of their lead driver and main bread winner- really need to go get a reality check- especially when he hasn’t seen a crust !!. .He’s got every right to look after himself first in any situation let alone the garbage he has endured since announcing he’s leaving. Besides this gives Lotus a real opportunity to give Velseche or some other talent a real go and finally make a decision on who will drive next year. If Lotus gave a shit about Kimi and had real leadership they may have suggested surgery themselves before the Singapore race and had him fit by India / Abu Dhabi- instead they took the low road and ended their season prematurely. Every GP without Raikkonen was lacking that magic in 2010/11. & Im afraid these next 2 will be no different- Especially since the titles are decided. I feel for the US fans because he was a real hit with them last year & you can see the disappointment already.
    Che sara, sara !

  25. Valentino from montreal says:

    Raikkonen has a bad back and Alonso’s bum hurts …

    Ferrari are stuck with the “Golden Girls” for next season …

    If Lotus are smart , they should be on the phone right now calling M. Schumacher … He loves Texas …

    1. Basil says:

      Glad there is some humour on this page.

    2. Elie says:

      I also hear Karun Chandhok is available and can offer sacred cows to help Lotus.

      1. Rich C says:

        Hell *I’m available, too! CALL ME, Eric! *I’ll even do it for nothing!

  26. Gabrielle says:

    And yet he will finish ahead of Grosjean in the final standings. Well played, Lotus.

  27. Vortex Motio says:

    What is missing from this story is that two days ago, on Friday November 8th, we learned from Jonathan Noble of Autosport that Genii had not received any money from Quantum Motorsport.

    Jonathan wrote, “It had been hoped that the transfer of money to Lotus would be completed earlier this week, but last-minute delays mean the matter has not yet been sorted.
    However, sources are adamant it should be resolved imminently – which would be a huge boost to Lotus’ long-term financial situation.”

    If we look back to Kimi’s famous “been paid zero euros the whole year” interview on Friday afternoon at the Abu Dhabi GP, the Reuters write-up made clear that Kimi had given conditions for Lotus to meet in the near term.

    “I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on certain issues we have been having,” Raikkonen said after taking part in practice.
    “Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.”
    Asked whether he could skip the final races in Austin, Texas, and Brazil, the Finn replied: “For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business and sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should, we end up in an unfortunate situation.
    “You have to put the line somewhere and if it goes over that … it is not really my fault any more.”

    Given what Lotus said two days ago (i.e. ‘We’re still broke but hopeful’), then this action by Kimi is, (and was) fairly predictable.

  28. Steve Rogers says:

    It’s a great shame that Enstone aren’t getting the finance their engineering deserve.

    1. Scott says:

      I agree, they seem to have been doing amazing amounts with less. They really do deserve a healthy financial future. Hopefully they will get it…

  29. Peter says:

    you go to work for a year without getting paid and I may consider respecting you.
    Kimi already has my respect for sticking around for so long and helping them to get to this position in the first place

  30. Moog says:

    I’m available to take the Lotus drive if necessary, the testing in December sounds boring though so someone else can do that :)

    1. Sri says:

      Wow! Your Alonso-esque attitude is praiseworthy :-)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Lol :)

    2. Mansell Mania says:

      What will you take in payment? A prawn sandwich?

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I’ll undercut that and do it for a cheese sandwich.

      CV:

      Watched a lot of F1 on TV, how hard can it be.

      I can make a set of Pirellis last 10000 miles, better even than di Resta or Sutil.

      I have experience with Renault engines. (Even a 2.2 dCi whose turbo blew seals spraying oil everywhere and I brought the car safely to a stop)

      I can multitask, that is drive fast whilst ignoring someone swearing at me – Permane/the wife – what’s the difference.

      I know Interlagos from PC and console gaming so I wouldn’t ‘get lost’ there.

      My favourite colours are black and gold.

      Thank you for your consideration.

  31. Lisa Thomas says:

    O Kimi, I am already in Interlagos to hold open for you the gate to that slip road round the back of the track……the one you like so much. So disappointed.

    1. Sebee says:

      Are you talking about F1 or something else?

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Kimi is a private person, but It isn’t fair to infer he’s the type to take the slip road round the back of the track, even if the gate is being held open!

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Very poetic, if a tad disturbing.

      Watch out Elie has your card marked now ;)

  32. Rob Newman says:

    Looks like Kimi is taking his Ferrari return very seriously. Good for him.

    1. C Lin says:

      Agree Rob, that’s what comes to my mind too.

      Let’s hope the surgery is successful & he has a speedy recovery to begin his 2014 season.

  33. jmv says:

    I see Petrov´s manager calling Boullier/Lopez and offering them a few million for these two races.

    Good on Kimi! Wish him the best possible recovery and great re-entry at Ferrari! Bring on 2014!

  34. Andrew Carter says:

    If I was in Lotus position, I’d go for Kovalinen to replace him. He’s quick, experienced, knows the team after his year there in 07 and has done a few Friday practices for Caterham this year so isn’t completely rusty. If they really want second in the championship, to me it’s the most sensible move they could make.

    1. James Allen says:

      If you were in Lotus position… You’d be very supple!

      1. wes says:

        Now THATS funny!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Nice :)

      3. Chris says:

        Ha ha, I bet you’ve been waiting years to get that comment in!

      4. Simon Haynes says:

        Ho ho ho.

        There was a rumour Webber might move aside for Ricciardo – be fun to see Mark in a Lotus for a couple of races, with Dan in the Red Bull.

      5. I would love to see that.

        If i were Mark, i’d demand cash up front. ;)

      6. Lockster says:

        LMFAO! Awesome call James :)

      7. Ade says:

        Ha! Excellent retort James.

      8. Krishna says:

        A yoga joke, who’d have thought it!

      9. JCA says:

        James, I see Magnussen is now favourite to get the Mclaren drive according to Autosport. Would Perez have enough sponsorship to enter the Lotus picture if the Quantum deal falls through? Some google searching does not inspire a lot of confidence in their front man.

      10. Elie says:

        Do you reckon that word exists in Alan Permaines vocabulary

      11. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Skipped an apostrophe – and now he’s all tangled up. :)

      12. Random 79 says:

        Grammar takes no prisoners…

  35. Timmay says:

    Hulkenberg is the obvious candidate. Has nought to do with next seasons cars – he is good in 2013 spec an they need points. He is also a free agent because Sauber haven’t been paying their drivers either!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Agreed, makes sense.

      So on to the next big question: Who replaces the Hulk at Sauber?

      1. Boillier says:

        Sirotkin!

    2. C Lin says:

      With Lotus financial position, Hulk may choose to stay put in Sauber instead as he could get a drive at Ferrari next. Don’t see Raikkonen or Alonso staying more than two years in Ferrari.

    3. Stephen Taylor says:

      No, Valsecchi is the obvious candidate. He is the third driver so should get his chance. Hulkenberg still has obligations to another team and probably would like to see out the season with them.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Normally yes the reserve driver would be straight in there, but under these circumstances it would give Lotus the perfect chance to test Hulkenberg out as their potential driver for 2014 in their own car in race conditions, and that’s a chance that doesn’t come along in F1 very often.

        Last I heard Sauber had released Hulk from his contract, so it should be possible.

        From a midfield team that can’t pay him to a (fairly) front running team that can’t pay him…why not? :)

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        I don’t Hulkenberg will be joining lotus anyway. Think Mr Maldonado looks to have it in the bag from what I’ve read.

      3. Random 79 says:

        @Stephen

        Yep, as soon as the Quantum deal fell through that was that.

        Sad to say it looks like the Hulk is getting the shaft yet again. I just hope it’s not too late for him to find a seat somewhere.

      4. Nigel says:

        Nah, It’s got to be Kovailinen for all the reasons above from Andrew Carter plus he knows the Renaullt engine and (I think) drivetrain….plus he’s a Finn so has the sense of humour needed…

      5. Stephen Taylor says:

        Don’t think Mr Fernandes will be very happy to let go of one of his team’s test drivers to a team he had a legal dispute with.

  36. Deb says:

    This is a huge disappointment as we are spending and arm and leg to travel to the US to the F1 race and Kimi is our favourite driver!
    We wish him well for next season but will miss him in Austin.

  37. K says:

    So let’s make a list:

    1. Kimi performs great for 2 seasons winning 2 races, getti9ng many podiums, earning Lotus a lot in the WCC
    2. Kimi doesnt get paid on time last year and none this year (at least 16mill Euros)
    3. He moves to Ferrari because of this and Lotus gets anrgy and treats him like a second rate driver and suddenly his cars aren’t set up properly, have illegal planks so Grosjean starts beating him here an there
    4. Lotus team cuss at him during the race, claim his podium in Singapore was ‘just luck” while he was driving with a bad back, and tell the press he is no teamplayer while *see first 2 points*

    Even if the back problem thing is a convenient way of ending his relationship with Lotus, he has a full right to do so without it.

    I have noticed a very sharp opinion against Lotus the last few races all across the board. Lotus have only themselves to blame.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Got it in four :)

      Lotus used to be one of my favourite teams, but the way they’ve been acting lately is disappointing…not that they’d worry.

      If they don’t even care about what their (previously) star driver thinks of them why would they worry about us?

  38. dren says:

    Well…guess I won’t be wearing my Kimi shirt and hat at the USGP next weekend.

  39. Truth or Lies says:

    Once Sebs back is ok, all is well with the world :)

    1. Random 79 says:

      Err…I’m going to go with Lie on that one ;)

  40. Richard says:

    Massive fan of Kimi, but I think his not being paid was a major factor in this too, but then again, would I show up to work if I wasn’t paid all year?

  41. Aadil says:

    Dammit Lotus put Hulk in the car!!!

    The world is dyeing to see what he can do with that Lotus!!!

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      Let’s see:
      PDVSA+Maldonado -> Lotus (They need it! Total supply the lube for all the Renaults, they may still arrange themselves with the situation), looks reasonable
      Telmex/Clario+Perez -> McLaren (replacing Vodafone), looks reasonable too.

      Another scenario:

      PDVSA+Maldonado -> McLaren (Mobil 1 will need to arrange), looks reasonable, but I don’t imagine Telmex/Clario jumping off, so where would that leave Button?

      Hülkenberg -> Lotus. Who will pay him?
      Hülkenberg -> Sauber. See abovestill possible, if enough money is coming from Russia.
      Hülkenberg -> Force India, looks reasonable.

      Possible too:
      Guiterrez/Telmex stay at Sauber, while Slim has “Claro” and Perez at McLaren, having two of his marks in Formula one.

      Sauber – Russian sponsorship, if serious and demanding a russian driver, would lead to either Sirotkin or Petrov next to Guiterrez or Perez (if Telmex stays with the team), Hülkenberg (if they can afford it) or Sutil (if Telmex pulls out).

      The BBC reports Perez will be fired in favour of Magnussen, Whitmarsh says nothing has been decided yet, but where’s smoke there’s fire: McLaren may well be in negotiations with Carlos Slim or PDVSA to see whether they can go along without Perez. On the other Hand Perez has shown a promising performance in the 2nd half of the season.

      The whole situation is still quite interesting.
      If I had to set my money on anything, I’d say Maldonado goes Lotus and Perez stays at McLaren alongside Button. Hülkenberg may well change seats with Sutil (who would bring some Sponsorship money and a lot of experience to Sauber).

  42. Aleksandar says:

    Get Kubica in, just for fans sake, let us see does he still have it…

    1. Kubica has signed for Citroen Rally GB same date as USA GP.

  43. Just to clarify, if hulkenburg were to race for lotus, any points he earns will count towards his personal championship?

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Yes any points scoring positions would count for the Driver’s championship.

  44. Stone the crows says:

    A back injury is nothing to fool around with. Can’t imagine pulling the kind of “G’s” that Formula One drivers experience and have a persistent back injury. If the only way you can sleep is with painkillers then its well past time to have surgery. Hope it goes well, and he is completely healed and ready for the 2014 season. Most importantly I hope he has no long term problems.
    Given their cash flow problems, Lotus will probably run Valsecchi.

  45. deancassady says:

    Who else thinks the Quantum deal is more than a little bit funky?
    None, or an extremely small number, really knows the whole story of what’s going on here.
    1. No money has come through, for Lotus; thus no $20+ M pay disbursed to owed employees. If you are smart guy like Raikkonen and his manager, maybe you know the signs of a hollow deal; maybe it is the time to bail out of that situation.
    2. There’s potential a Kimi-powered Lotus team could yet beat out Ferrari(!) for third, and subsequently get prize winnings that would otherwise go to Ferrari.
    3. There is perhaps a line crossed with disrespect to a re-proven star driver, and a team’s greatest asset, and if you’re as determined a person as Kimi, maybe enough was too much, and the only real way to speak, is with actions! Who would that be like?
    4. And Hey! Have you ever injured your back? What would you do/have done to get it better!?!
    In my personal experience, it sucks! And I did EVERYTHING I could to get it better!

    Of course it was the right move, and at the right time; a special deal was proposed and accepted for Kimi to race Abu Dhabi, and that deal was likely NOT fulfilled on the team’s side.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I think there’s a good chance that Lotus probably knew that the Quantum deal was funky from the get go, but what other options did they have?

      1. deancassady says:

        Yeah. We agree on that as a likelihood.

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      “Who else thinks the Quantum deal is more than a little bit funky?”

      It’s all smoke and mirrors, if you ask me.

      1. deancassady says:

        it looks, more and more…

      2. Random 79 says:

        Except of course that smoke and mirrors have much more substance to them than a Quantum deal ;)

  46. Kevin Shiel says:

    Lotus would let kimi to have the surgery and be ready for next season if kimi was to stay for another year anyway. Dont see much conspiracy there at all.

  47. Marybeth says:

    This is going to hurt ticket sales for Austin. It costs a fortune & if your favorite driver is not going to be there, why spend the money…?

    1. Deb says:

      Yes but most of us bought tickets months ago………….

  48. Rich C says:

    The raiders are probably already descending on the Enstone talent at all levels.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Raiders of the Lost Hulk? Sorry…had to :)

  49. Rich C says:

    If Valsecchi doesn’t get the drive it pretty much makes a mockery of the very idea of “reserve driver” doesn’t it?

  50. Chris Chong says:

    They should try Kobayashi who, coincidentally, was the last time a substitute driver impressed other teams enough in the last few races of a season to get a drive the next year purely on merit. (Sponsorship? What’s that?)

    1. Denis 68 says:

      Kobayashi would be good.

      On second thoughts, his best role is doing demonstration runs in a Ferrari F1 car, Well on a dry track anyway.

  51. JB says:

    Feel sorry for Kimi that he had to put up with an employer that does not pay.

    Kimi does not need to do this. Even when he left Ferrari, he need not go WRC. He is rich enough to retire for the rest of his life. Put that into consideration and you’ll realize that Lotus has gotten a huge favor from Kimi.

    Anyone who has worked for a bad boss knows how it is when they chose not to pay you, it is very hard to be committed.

    It is not about how wealthy Kimi Raikkonen is or other team members needs the money more than him. It is about keeping your promise and your trust.

    I’m not surprised that he has committed to Ferrari now with fitting of the new seats and surgery to get ready before getting ready for Ferrari’s work.

    I just hope that Lotus will keep their words and actually pay him fully.

    1. Random 79 says:

      It speaks volumes about how much Kimi actually enjoys racing above getting a paycheck. Still I’m sure it will a relief for Kimi to know that at Ferrari he will actually be paid for his services.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      This. Even delays are give horrible vibes.

  52. Dan says:

    at least next year ill have something to keep me entertained with FA and KR at ferrari. The racing has been lacking thr last few years. last race I turned the tv off after the second corner.

  53. Giorgio says:

    What a pity!
    Now nobody will go and check the gate at Interlagos :)

  54. mjsib says:

    Does anyone know how much money Kimi has earned Lotus with constructor points and merchandise from using the most popular name in F1? I’m guessing hundreds of millions so where has this money gone?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Into Grosjean’s recent podium finishes ;)

  55. babyboo says:

    i hope valsechi get this chance. he deserve kimi’s seat in the last two races.

  56. TomDG says:

    Well played from Kimi:
    - use the last two races’ leverage to make them settle outstanding salary
    - once that’s done, bail out for medical reasons, focus on 2014

    they had it coming…

  57. C Lin says:

    James, the German media is reporting that Hulk is mulling between Sauber & Force India for 2014. Do you have any information about this? Is Lotus looking at Pastor instead as it seems the Quantum/Lotus is not moving?

    Thanks.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think Pastor to Lotus is done

  58. James m says:

    Kimi is a great personality for fans but seems to be overrated as a driver. I wouldn’t be surprised if his replacement did a better job than he had been doing recently in the final races.

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Way to pull it out of….

      Had a look at the standings lately or last year? Or maybe results of Kimi’s team mate.

  59. Stephen Taylor says:

    I nominate Valsecchi and Calado.

  60. Eff1osaurus says:

    best thing Kimi could do at this point. He’s carried Lotus as far as he can, and they’re obvioulsy not playing ball wrt payments AND, now it seems, support at the track…swearing at your #1 driver smacks of an intolerable situation within Lotus…

    Grosjean has stepped up, so this is his chance (againi) to show he can mix it with the top flight. as for who to replace Kimi…we know they’ll go with some young gun, but in terms of scoring for the championship and the resultant funding stream…i’d be calling on someone with recent experience. Wonder what Schuey would do, but he’s a Merc employee so no-go there…

    Heck, Prost works for Renault, why not give him a go just for s**ts and giggles LOL

    At least Kimi wants to be in top shape for next year, which shows he’s fully motivated and committed to giving it horns next year…

    So, no parties or drinking, and the only girls allowed are nurses (Helllloooooooooo NURSE!)…ice-creams are ok…have a flake with yours, kick back and watch the show from your bed…get well soon and looking forward to seeeing you in Red at Melbourne!

  61. bearforce says:

    Huge Bummer.

    Get well soon Kimmi……..

  62. Kit says:

    How much does a driver have to pay FIA for every championship point earned?

    Besides not being paid his main salary,Kimi will have to fork out tens of thousands out of his own pocket just for this.

  63. Paul D says:

    They should stick DV in the car. He’s a GP2 Champ who’s waited patiently all year for an opportunity like this to come up. He should be given a shot.

    If not, what’s the point in a reserve driver?

    1. C Lin says:

      I hope DV gets the drive too.

  64. Gary says:

    I think a lot of Team Lotus apparel is going to start arriving at Overstock.com, available by the pound (lb)

  65. DanT says:

    I see an opportunity for Lotus here. Offer Felipe the seat for 2014 if he moves now. This should take points of Ferrari and help with end of season push to get ahead. Also it would pay back Ferrari for putting pressure on Kimi to walk early. Only problem likely to be Felipe’s contract with Ferrari but got to be worth consideration.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Too late for Massa to be offered a Lotus seat now. He’s gone to Williams for 2014.

    2. C Lin says:

      Massa has already signed with Williams for 2014.

      Hopefully DV gets the drive.

  66. CH says:

    Well, shame on Kimi for being a tattle-tell. Are Eric B. and Lopez adults? How come they don’t tell us how they and Romain have not been paid either…. Or how much money Kimi’s points will mean to Lotus?

  67. Rich C says:

    Messages we will NOT hear next season: “Kimi, ‘Nando is faster than you. Do you understand?”

  68. Shane says:

    If I were Lotus I would get Kamui Kobayashi in the car immediately. He is, in my humble opinion, the best available talent and would definitely race for the amount of money Lotus have available to pay a driver.

    1. Tim says:

      Don’t Ferrari have some sort of contract with him? If they do, I foresee very little prospect of him driving for Lotus at the last 2 races of 2013.

    2. Boillier says:

      > money Lotus have available to pay a driver

      HAHAHA

      That seat is on sale. They’re not gonna pay a CENT

      1. Shane says:

        That was what I meant, Kamui does have quite a bit of funding raised privately that he could use to get that seat for a couple of races.

  69. Steve JR says:

    Clearly Kimi’s back story is utter rubbish. Nothing more than a smoke screen to mask the real issue which is all about payment and lack thereof.

    How likely is it that two weeks ago Kimi was threatening to not drive for the team for the rest of the season unless they paid him and then two weeks later be not driving the last weeks for a completely different reason!?

    1. Oho says:

      Yeah, quite a character this Räikkönen. Risks paralysis and gets a bunch of specialist physicians to play along his little ruse to get out of a contract he, the chances are, would have gotten out of for the asking.

  70. Jason C says:

    We have been here before and is it going to be case of ‘back to the future’ for F1?
    It appears 10 years on and nothing has been learnt.

    Broken Arrows are wound up

    The Arrows Formula One team have gone into liquidation, according to reports on Wednesday.
    A winding-up petition was granted against Tom Walkinshaw’s team on behalf of former driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, the Reuters news agency reported.

    “The company is in liquidation but we are still acting as receivers,” said receiver Philip Long, of accountants and business advisers PKF.

    “This is just another stage in the insolvency process, everything has been up for sale since we were appointed.”

    Long said the assets included the leasehold of Arrows’ fully-fitted Formula One premises and two wind tunnels.

    Arrows call in receivers

    Frentzen, who has now joined Sauber, led a line of creditors seeking money owed by the team.

    “It just happens that his name is on top of the list of close to 20 creditors,” said Frentzen’s manager, Monte Field.

    “On Monday it was ruled that the company is to be wound up. Let’s just call it a closed chapter.”

    Arrows, excluded from this year’s championship after missing five of the last six races in 2002, laid off their staff in December.

    Arrows’ departure, after 25 years in the sport, follows that of French outfit Prost to leave Formula One with just 10 teams.

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