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.”