F1 Winter Break
Lotus boss tries to throw a fire blanket over Kimi Raikkonen fallout
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Nov 2013   |  11:10 am GMT  |  183 comments

Lotus F1 team owner Gerard Lopez has issued a fascinating post on the team’s website, seeking to throw a fire blanket over the fallout with his lead driver Kimi Raikkonen after the exchange of profanities on radio during the Indian Grand Prix and Raikkonen’s proposed “no show” this weekend.

Raikkonen had to be persuaded to come and participate this weekend, after the latest difficult moment between team and driver in what has been a tricky period since he announced he was moving to Ferrari next season.

Raikkonen has gone public again this weekend on the fact that the team has not paid him this year and relations are also strained because he is moving to a rival team next season, while Lotus want to bring Romain Grosjean through as a challenger. The team is locked in a championship battle with Mercedes and Ferrari with around $20 million the difference between finishing second and fourth in the constructors’ championship. Lotus needs both drivers to perform at a high level for the remaining races to achieve that.

Contractually he had to drive this weekend, but he made the team sweat, not appearing on Thursday for media commitments. Meanwhile his manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, “I’ve never heard of a driver being spoken to like that.”

Raikkonen arrives in Yas Marina paddock on practice day (XPB.cc)

In today’s post from Lopez, the team boss says,

“Of course, recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship. It certainly wasn’t the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen.

“One of the unfortunate things about being in the limelight is that people are always trying to make it look like there are huge fights going on. For instance, we discussed the fact that Kimi was signing for Ferrari between the two of us and it was a very frank discussion. It was factual, emotional at the same time and although it’s funny to say, he’s a very human human-being.

Lopez: "It's like the Prodigal Son is leaving us" (XPB.cc)

“For a long time we had the opportunity to keep him in our hands (for 2014), but we weren’t able to operate to the timeframe – or make the offer – that Ferrari were able to do. For me this brought sadness, as it’s like prodigal son leaving us.”

In the same post on the Lotus website, Lopez says he still believes that the long awaited investment deal from Middle East/American consortium Quantum will go ahead, allowing the team to move ahead with its plans.

“We have preliminary agreements with the company we want to partner with, and we’re just waiting for this to be concluded,” said Lopez. “This is a very detailed process.”

“The history is that we decided to offer a minority stake to an investor. We consider this approach as the best way forwards, just like any other Formula 1 team.”

As the waiting goes on, Lotus is believed to be close to a deal with Pastor Maldonado, with Nico Hulkenberg’s signature being dependent on the Quantum investment. This is the bottle neck in the driver market at the moment.

Read the full post on Lotus F1 site Here

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I think majority of people understand the situation and trust Kimi 100%. The guy is the least political driver ever - he is not perfect and might have his down sides. But I think people around him would tell that he is honest genuine and respects others.

Lotus has a problem because they did not pay him the salary....he continued racing. This year is the same. It is normal that Kimi would want to have more stability and certainty and he went to Ferrari. Again the reason why his move to Ferrari was so easy is because of who he is - he never burned any bridges. He behaved with honor and dignity, did not accuse anybody.

I support Kimi, not Lotus here.


I remember when Kimi joined Sauber I was an early fan of his speed and I like him as a racer but apart from that he can be very childish IMHO. Regardless of the issues he's having and I do understand his position which is far from ideal,he shouldn't be airing them in public. On the one hand you cant get him to speak "because he's too cool for journos" and on the other hand he complains about anything and everything that bother's him in public. Reality is that times are difficult for Lotus at the moment while they are waiting for decisions on investment but the whole team is in that position, not just Kimi, and they are getting on with the job. Airing these issues wont help the situation and have the potential to actually make it worse which means getting paid will be more difficult so his actions could be regarded as an own goal in that respect. Anyway I believe it's more to do with the altercation in the last race and his pride is hurt. It's ok for him to use a derogatory tone to anyone he pleases but he cant take it and thats a sign of immaturity. As good as he is, Felipe dominated him in'08 and he wouldn't have been a WDC in '07 without Felipe handing him a victory in his home race. Kimi is a very fast natural driver no doubt but he is far from a complete driver. Maybe when he grows up and learns to behave properly he will be.


These comments about Massa helping kimi made him win WDC '07 is so amusing to hear every time. It is a team and if one is in a position to help his team mate to clinch WDC, any one would do it.

Also, if you are so much of a early fan of kimi, Felipe would not be even close to winning WDC '08 if Kimi did not slow down and give Felipe 2nd Place in Chinese Grand Prix (second last race). This move by kimi to help Massa has actually brought Felipe in fighting chance with Lewis in the last race. Please stop complaining or broadcasting about Felipe's help and all.

Secondly, about the pay aspect. I mean people don't get the fact that Kimi has not been paid at all this year and even last year. He has been winning them championship points at a greater level compared to his team mate which is translating into prize money. Kimi understands the financial situation, but one year is fine and same thing repeats again this year. This is not done. He has every right to go public if the contract is breached.

Please work in a start-up as an employee which is struggling to bring in cash to pay their employees and work for two years. Let's see how you react.

Having millions doesn't mean I work without pay for an year.


Before we get into your points on Kimi I would like to point out that I am the Ceo of a startup for longer than 2 years and I am well aware of the difficulties and the sacrifices that are required, especially in these recessionary times. I have worked without pay to ensure my employees got paid and I would do so again as long as I deem it necessary. But thats the choice and responsability of a Ceo and in a startup situation is sometimes required due to circumstance. An employee can always walk away but a Ceo's job is to see the project to completion. That is why I can emphatise with Eric Boulier who I think is doing a very good job in difficult circumstances.

You are right of course in saying that Kimi is entitled to speak about his finances in public but I never said he wasn't. I simply said that I believe that it was more to do with the incident with Grosjean. I also stand by my view that airing his financial grievences in public is not helpful and could make the situation worse.

I am still a fan of Kimi but I dont like certain things about the way he goes about his off track business. I dont blame him for all of it either, I believe his management and others play up to and embilish his offtrack image as well and they all overstep the mark at times. Nobody ever challenges them and it's as if people are afraid to criticise Kimi for fear of the backlash. Most of the commentators are ex-drivers and are afraid they will damage their own images if they dared to critise him. Kimi is a human being and makes mistakes just like the rest of us and it is wrong to put him on a pedestal.

Your reaction to my comments about Felipe are an example. Felipe was in a class of his own in '08 although I have long harboured a suspician that Kimi was repaying him for '07. My comments here were more to illicit a response from people who are blind to the human element of Kimi and will defend him at all costs at the expense of other hardworking people like EB and the team at Lotus in this case. I can see how Kimi is a breath of fresh air to many people including myself but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything he does or says and Lotus are not being treated fairly in this instance. Nor does it mean that just because I criticise Kimi about some aspects of his behavour that I no longer like or respect him. It's because I am a fan that I take the time to give my honest opinion on circumstances where I think he could have behaved better. I, like Kimi, am entitled to speak my mind regardless of the feelings of others if I think it needs to be said. Personally I would like to see a bit more balance and less petulence in the current situation. Also I would like to see a bit more dialogue before people start jumping to conclusions and dismissing hard working individuals and teams purely on the basis that the are a fan of a particular driver. Lotus and EB have done a great job and punched above their weight in difficult times and this spat with Kimi, which is not down to EB or the team, is portraying them in an unfavourable light which they dont deserve.


Totally, 100%! Just read that it could be 15m euro that they owe him, and that they haven't paid him a cent this year!! That's insane!

Surely someone like Bernie should weigh in here, to sort this out. Maybe threaten Lotus that he'll withhold 15m euro from whatever WCC money they'll get.

If those figures are right, then how could Kimi ever be in breach of contract if he didn't race?!!


I wonder if they let him do any interviews this weekend 😛


They did and this is what he said:

""Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don't have the interests of the team [at heart] - but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year," said Raikkonen.

"It doesn't put you in the best place, but that is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues, and try to finish as well as we can."


Has RG been paid any Euros this year...?


Not hot on strategy, unprofessional, bit shambolic. They will do very well to get big investors interested.

I think Kimi has more interesting matters to worry about, like his drive with a real pedigree champion team next year.


the first part of your comment describes ferrari perfectly! i hope kimi wins next year despite that...


They needed to ease the swelling frankly because if things escalated and Kimi decided to leave the team before the end of the season, Lotus finish 4th in the constructors. DV would have to come in and drive the car and he is not going to pick up anything like the amount of points that Kimi would.

So in effect, Kimi has them over a barrel.


In effect, what seems to have happened is that they have had him drive for free and hoped to pay him out of the prize winnings, or any invester money (his participation) brought to the team.


This might be the appropriate point then to cue another couple of bunnies playing piggy-back over said barrel?


Hmm, a sad and twisted turn of affairs. Surely any contract Kimi would have signed has something in there written about getting paid. James, if he's not being paid can the team really complain if he doesnt show up to race?

In any case this isn't good for anyone. At least Kimi made the right call by not waiting for Lotus to come through with the goods, looks like he would still be waiting. I would say that this is no way to treat a champ, but let's face it Kimi dishes it out with the best of them - that's part of his charm.

Lotus has a record of treating their drivers badly (Heidfeld, Petrov, Bruno Senna), maybe they should look into that.



A lot of people here have short memories and think this is the first time something like this has happened with Lotus. Their shenanigans with drivers have been going on since Genii Capital and Eric B came on board. Nor should we forget how things went on with the team presently called Caterham. Put a financier in charge and it swiftly becomes more about the money than racing with integrity.


The saving grace for Lotus was Kimi coming back to F1 and getting impressive results for them. That killed all the bad publicity. Look how they screwed that up...


The saving grace for Kimi was that Lotus brought him back. All the bad publicity seems to be coming from Kimi. No other member of the team is speaking about it as it cannot help the situation. Kimi is simply doing his Prima Donna act and I am getting tired of it. EB ahs done a good job at Lotus as have the team but that is being thrown out the window by Kimi's petulance and the fact he has so many fans who think he can do no wrong. I would take Hulkenburg over Kimi any day as he is in a much more difficult position yet he gets on with it without the incessant moaning. I also believe Nico is the better driver.


" if he’s not being paid can the team really complain if he doesn't show up to race?"

Yes, they can accuse him of breaking contractual obligations, saying that his payment would have been sorted out by end of year, so he should have honored his contract.


Kimi loves the F1 cars & the racing. I would have been surprised if he passed up an opportunity to be on track. I would guess that that is why, in the final analysis, he decided to be in Abu Dhabi. Just bcuz he loves it & was not going to let 'words' keep him from it. 🙂


@J.Danek, Thanks. It is always nice to have someone keep me honest. 🙂


you're just speculating here. you have no knowledge or understanding of Kimi as a person and are no more qualified to explain what's motivating him than I am...


No. It depends on if the contract says that he has to be paid some money on such a date.


A contract is void if one party violates the terms of the contract; Kimi would have every right to walk.


"Contractually he had to drive this weekend"

Why if he hasn't been paid? Surely he continues to drive on goodwill? Unless his bank balance is now settled.


No, he's just blurted out that he hasn't been paid a euro all of 2013!


Wow that's sad not a SINGLE EURO after driving 11 months & gathering so many points for the team.

Still remember he was driving with very bad back pain when his seat was not bolted properly & went to secure another podium for the team during that race.

That's commitment & some say he is not a team player. I say Ferrari has got the right guy for next year!

P.S. I heard he even pay for his own travel & hotel for races.


Maybe they've been paying him in dollars...


Was hoping for more details on the situation between Kimi and Lotus than this article gave James.

What was the situation around the radio exchange - was Kimi asked to move out of the way of his team mate? Did he ignore the request? Was there radio issues? Did Kimi know his team mate was on different strategy?

Yes it is annoying to not get paid for a job Kimi has been doing very well – however if the option is to run the team like Lotus are and put all the money into the car enabling the drivers to fight at the front and raise their own stock and then pay the drivers at the end of the year – which driver would not take that?


I thought it non-payment was only related to his bonuses and partial amount of his salary.

But non-payment over an entire year!, that is very serious from Lotus...and then they insult him by swearing at him publicly.

No wonder he didn't want to show up @Abu Dhabi



Some people complaining that such kind of things should take care inside of the team. Yes, so should, in principle, but Kimi has pushed on the corner. It is because of team Managers statement last 1.5 months and the Permane sneering/cattish attitude. Of course, Kimi need to defend itself and its now comes to public in rude way. The main issue/umbrage we probably see in Kimis sentence:” Sometimes it's not very nice when you hear that you don't have the interests of the team [first


Kimi Raikkonen should place the Lotus group

in the hands of Liquidater with the caveat

to FOM on any due prize money to Lotus.

Contract is a Contract, money must be paid

for services rendered to date.

What does the FIA doing? sweet f*** all,it's

in their front yard for God sake.

Perhaps Mr Todt feel its none of his consern

what a " Joke ".


Looks like Maldonado will get the seat then if they are despirate for cash. Shame....Hulk is such a top driver...


I'm starting to think this would be a toxic environment for the Hulk anyway...


Has Grosjean been paid? Or does his money come from Total?


I just noticed that Grosjean and Massa are tied on points and Grosjean scored 5 podiums vs. Massa's 1.

What does this say about Massa?

What does it say about Grosjean?

...considering that Grosjean is to be team leader in 2014...

By the way, there is 24 points between Kimi and Fernando.



Great point - do you know Grosjean's pay situation James?

F1 is facing financial meltdown if a team fighting for 2nd in the Constructors champ can't simply pay their drivers. Managed correctly there should easily be enough money for all to survive/compete.


No but he's supported by Total so it may be via the,

That said he's managed by Genii's management company Gravity so he is paid out of their internal market, maybe not much

As he's staying I doubt he would admit it even if he hasn't been paid


The problem is Lotus have milked Raikkonen for two years and were cocksure of him staying with them for next year, which he did not. Fair enough, he thought Ferrari would be better for him, he went. But Lotus have not taken it well, their Twitter account has been reacting strangely, EricB, Permane and even Lopez have have been sly talking for the past month and a half and you can see how reluctantly they acknowledged Raikkonen's drive in Singapore and Japan. They were taking things for granted that he would stay, he has not and it has hurt them but they have not taken it well.

And in between all of this, they have to project Romain for the next year for the potential investors et al.

Strategy wise, for the Indian GP, they should have pitted Kimi was back for fresher tyres, even if they did not, mediums with 10 laps remaining would have seen him competitively fighting for P5/6 near the end.

And for those putting the blame squarely on Kimi's shoulder, he DID move aside for Romain, there was no Multi-21. He knew his tyres were shot but i would rather have a driver who fights even in such a situation than not. Plus he IS fighting for P2 in the C'ship. Points are important. They should have trusted him to not collide with Romain, which he didn't.

Was a fan of Lotus - the team and their PR, not anymore after what has happened in the last month and a half.


If Kimi had not fought for his position in India the NBC announcers would say that he is 'driving for Ferrari early'. They are hitting Kimi from both sides no matter what he does. Fortunately he is the Iceman & hopefully he will just let it roll off of him like water off a duck's back & do what he loves, F1 racing. 🙂 By Nov. 25th it will all be over & forgotten anyway. 🙂


Kimi moved out of the way only after getting told off due to him running the sister car off the road...hardly complaint.


Brilliant comment! I agree with it all!!


James, clever title!


To me this all seems like another case of the media and fans in general over-exaggerating a story.


Actually, having read into it a bit more, I take that comment back.


"Contractually he had to drive this weekend".

Yes, but surely "Contractually he had to be paid" is equally true? If Lotus aren't paying him, why does he still need to drive?


ha. good point! lol.


Thats just handbags what happened on the team radio. If I were Alan Permane I think I would have done the same, especially after Raikkonen decided to leave the outfit- it is obvious Grosjean is their number 1 for the remaining races, as much as I love Kimi- they have to think of the future and how good Grosjean will be as their number 1 for 2014 and Kimi was hindering Grosjean's progress as well as allowing Massa to close in on him. Jesus, some people need to lighten up and not kick up such a fuss about something thats really not such a big deal!


But this is also why I think it would have been a dreadful own-goal for Kimi not to have raced this weekend. We have heard before (at this race last year!) that Kimi is perfectly happy to be blunt with the engineers on the radio when he feels necessary. So for him not to turn up straight after India, following what happened on the radio there, and irrespective of the financial situation, would have created an image of a driver perfectly happy to dish it out, but not to take it. This, personally, I would have found a bit distasteful.

The financial situation itself is an awkward one and I can seriously see it from both sides. Kimi has signed a contract to be paid and is perfectly entitled to expect the money; Lotus is perfectly entitled to prioritise the pay of its lowest-earning employees because Kimi is already a multi-millionaire, on the understanding that Kimi gets paid eventually.


I don't see how Lotus is entitled to decide who gets paid and who not! Unless Lotus contractually doesn't need to pay Kimi until the end of the season, as far as Im aware, non-payment of staff would be grounds for being "put into administration".

The fact that a person is thought to be a multi-millionaire doesn't change anything - apart, that is, from their ability to hire a really good lawyer.


Where do you guys get this "put into hands of administration?" The only thing that a court can do is - after what will likely be a lengthly legal battle that could take nearly a year and be appealed - is to find that Kimi is due his back pay, and then male Lotus immediately liable to pay the amount due. By which time the championship will be over, and they will have the funds to pay a large portion or even the entirety. Now, IF they could not pay at that time, then they could be declared bankrupt, or they could decided to voluntarily shutter the company into bankruptcy. Depending upon the specific country laws applied, voluntary bankruptcy may shield their assets from some if not all of the judgement for Kimi's salary.

I would bet that the threat of a voluntary Lotus bankruptcy, with the remaining "assets" sold to a shell company comprised of many of the same management that currently exist at Lotus, is what keeps Kimi's lawyers worried. There is a limit to what they can and cannot do given that very real threat...


So let's recap:

I milk the popularity of my lead driver and gain sponsors based on his excellent performance.

I don't pay him all year. He continues to drive for me.

I milk his increased popularity for the 2nd year running.

He asks me for financial assurance. I double talk and stall.

I don't pay him anything 2nd year in a row. I justify this by saying he's a multi millionaire after all. What does he need the money for?

He decides to leave.

I abuse him on the radio because I have to "concentrate on the future".

Yeah man, you're correct. What a non issue. Kimi should just shut up and drive. Oh wait, he's already done that. Until now. What a loser.


Brilliant summary. 🙂


great comment! although kimi has surely been paid something?! just not the 50k euro per point performance bonuses, no?


Not a single euro, according to Kimi himself.


I think that the team radio thing has definitely been blown out of proportion here.


I think the comment and profanity used has been blown way out of proportion. There is obviously a bit of bad feeling in the team about Kimis departure. Kimi is rightly aggrieved about not getting paid and is being a bit stubborn.

All a bit childish really but great entertainment none the less! I hope Lotus make 2nd place in the championship, although they will be getting Maldonado's millions, without a decent team leader they will need every penny they can get to avoid dropping into mediocrity next year. Maybe if they get it they won't sign Maldonado?


being a bit stubborn how? by exercising a bit of power to leverage the team to make good on his wages? what should he do? roll over and try to relax so it hurts less? pffft. please.


Perhaps Lopez should have put his hand in one of his own deep pockets and paid his star driver the wages he is owed ?

If he had done that, he (just) might not have lost him to Ferrari.

Given the ridiculously protracted time they have been promising the Quantum investment without conspicuous progress having been seen, it's hardly surprising Kimi has jumped ship.

Anyway, all bets are off for 2014 : success in 2013 is no predictor of performance next year. That's even before we consider the loss of talent from the Enstone technical department.

If I were Hulkenberg I would already be signed up to drive elsewhere.

If it wasn't at McLaren, I would only be signing a one year deal.

Maldonado is in a different position, I hate to say it but he probably couldn't do much worse by leaving Williams.

As for Williams, Sir Frank should be doing absolutely everything to get Ross on board alongside Pat Symonds, including giving him some of his shares in the team.


When I posted this I had no idea that Kimi hasn't been paid anything at all this year !

That's plainly ridiculous.

It's clear that the team must be desperately short of cash not to have paid him up to date before trying to persuade him to re-sign for 2014.

So, Kimi's wages could be just the tip of the iceberg :

Have they been paying the other team members ?

Do they owe money to all their suppliers ?

In the past, Bernie has advanced money to cash-strapped teams. Are they in such a bad way that they have already been down that route, yet still owe suppliers all over the place and not paid Kimi ?

I suspect the Quantum money, if it ever arrives, will be ring-fenced so that it can't be used to pay of 2013 debts.

This is not looking good for the Team.

I suspect the answer to these questions is common knowledge around the paddock but being kept quiet from the fans.

Can you say anything about this, James ?

You could just confirm that my suspicions might be well founded ?


I know Kimi's pride won't allow it but he could exit qualifying in q1 and deliberately finish out of the points. And who could blame him. The way he was treated on Sunday was disgusting.

It would be bad enough if he was being paid but when you're not paying someone then I think biting the tongue might be a better strategy.


IMO the best riposte to the team would be to repeat last year's performance. At which time, interestingly, he was also not being paid.


He should not do it. He should either race and give his absolute best or just do not show off in the race.


Surely if Kimi wants to be paid, then helping Team Enstone to finish second in the constructors championship is going to help - financially and showing that he's still able to get the results.

This whole Quantum deal doesn't seem to be happening fast - as if they just want some publicity.


Yes, it's true it's in Kimi's interest if he can be sure the money comes to him and doesn't get swallowed up by whatever debts Lotus, Genii etc. have. The only way he'd know for sure would be if there was come kind of security, charge, lien etc. over the payment from Bernie. The Robertsons strike me as smart enough to try to arrange this when the payment terms started to get missed, though whether it was in their power I guess they aren't saying.

Having been on the receiving end over the years of several investment promises that failed to materialize, I'm HIGHLY doubtful this one is going to get completed. Heaven knows what the Quantum folks don't like, but assuming they actually have the funds (it wouldn't be the first unfulfillable promise!) then my first guess would be they don't think they're getting a good enough deal at present. Someone is either going to have to sweeten it, find a new investor or scale back Lotus spending.


"Having been on the receiving end over the years of several investment promises that failed to materialize, I’m HIGHLY doubtful this one is going to get completed." --- agreed. ive had similar experience w/ sports sponsorships, and it's not likely this deal will be completed. genuine deals are done quickly and PR capital is not squandered incrementally, embarrassingly like this when there's a real commitment.


I was really discouraged upon hearing that radio transmission to Kimi. Combine that with the fact that Kimi's been putting himself out there without pay, at times, strikes me as incredibly shortsighted and unscrupulous.


Things do happen in the heat of the moment, but I still can't fathom Premane speaking that way to Kimi given that Lotus has not been paying. I am actually impressed in how Kimi has conducted himself this season. He has really kept his cool. Rather than hinting at feelings of betrayal for the prodigal son leaving, Lopez should be grateful for how Kimi has stuck it out.


Maybe Permane isn't being paid either?


I don't think anyone has any problems about making a mistake.

The facts seem to be that the recalcitrant individual hasn't seen the error of his ways, and has not apologized. Rather he tweeted rudely to Kimi fans, and was less than truthful accusing Kimi fans about wanting to hurt his family.

The team principal has apologized and so has the owner.

So it's clear that he is rather lonely in his recalcitrant stand.

No one has a problem with expletives - expressed in a friendly manner or surprise - "what a xxxxing awesome ride".

It's unkind, rude, bullying expletives that has no place within a team atmosphere.

The fact that it exists (eg racism in football) doesn't make it right nor excusable.

Marcus in Canada

Would he be obligated if he still hasn't been paid?


If they actually haven't paid him yet, if i were his position after last weekend's message and considering he's already got the Ferrari deal.. well I wouldn't show up if I were in his place. I seriously doubt Grosjean turned into a racing "dove" the weekend KR announced his move. Someone is getting a better car and team focus and that's certainly not the better driver at lotus, it's that -almost- Alonso killer that has that. 🙂


Could you provide a link to the post?

It's of course fairly easy to find, but would be nice to have a link to the source, since I assume there will be more that Lopez has said about the situation than you can analyse in just one post.


James, just on this occasion, do we have your permission to use rudeness and vulgar profanities?


Phil, James Allen is not Alan Permane so keep this site clean.

We just need to control ourselves...breath in...out...


As much a Kimi fan as I am, any driver ignoring team orders and endangering the team's success (especially one as financially needy as Lotus) deserves a colossal b*ll*cking, which Kimi got. Steve Robertson should be a good manager and tell Kimi to stop sulking and get on with the job. He'll get his bum fired again if he goes to Ferrari acting like the petulant child he's been this week.


Okay, interesting points, but Boullier said "By asking Kimi to let Romain pass, we just made the obvious choice, as Massa could have stolen our podium." So, asking Kimi to let Romain pass is clearly a team order.

However, then he contradicts himself buy saying "Romain was two seconds per lap faster than Kimi at that time, so it was not even a team order."

What's he on about? So it's a team order, but it's not a team order? Very confusing, but I think he's just being diplomatic to try and keep the peace.

Regardless, Kimi just needs to keep his head down and let his driving do the talking. The last thing Ferrari will want is another diva in their team next year.

Lotus will pay him after the season, like they did last year. Keep a cool head, Iceman!


When did Kimi ignore team orders?

When that incident happened (at T4) there were no team orders, they came after that in a very colourful language that most Kimi fans (including me) have taken objection at.

Kimi gave the place away, in that lap itself.

Also, watch the race again (the later laps)....

1) Kimi has no grip from rear tyres;

2) Kimi has a break problem

3) Kimi is sliding all over the place from Lap 52 (incident happened on Lap 56/57)

4) After Kimi was overtaken by Perez/Hamilton, you can still see Kimi sliding his way in the corner at T4.

he practically had no grip left at all...


How did you imagine that he ignored team order as it was the first order given to him ?


Kimi would have let RG through on the straight, because his tyres were shot, but RG wanted to take the outside through the fastest corner.

If Permane can't handle a situation like this with tact and intelligence, he shouldn't be on the pitwall.


You got it Phil - it was one of the most pointless/ ill advised attempts at passing I have seen. If RoGro lined him up for corner exit- we wouldn't even be talking about this. People want to talk about the petulant child look no further than RoGro he's already acting like a triple WC - for obviously no reason whatsoever !

As for Permaine lets see if he's not replaced over the holidays



Grosjean in his haste put the two Lotus into the compromising position. He should have waited, and passed Kimi in a way that allowed Kimi to delay Massa.

It was also difficult for Kimi to estimate how fast the car behind was bearing down on him, since his tyres were so worn.

Those of us who've driven on the unrestricted sections on the autobahn can testify how quick some Q cars bear down from behind.

It's silly that an F1 team doesn't understand it.


The only thing I fail to understand is how he is still tied to a contract if the other player of it is not fulfilling it's part. Pretty sure a 'not being paid' situation is reason enough to break it if he wanted to?


If you don't terminate the contract, you're tied. And you don't drive and don't earn if you terminate.


Don't fret.... Kimi has the best manager in the business.


I can't see how Kimi can be in breach of contract if he decided not to drive. Surely Lotus are the one's in breach by not paying him his salary?



If Lotus haven't paid Kimi, surely that must be a contractual breach. If so, will Kimi's team take action to recoup his salary? Curious what the options might be.


Just 3 more races to go, why cant both parties get along without washing the dirty linen in public ?


Logic from a Zombie? Awesome!


"I’ve never heard of a driver being spoken to like that"... Sam Michael vs Montoya?

Anyway, apart from Kimi-fanatics, does any rational observer think that Lotus' words were more wrong than Kimi's actions on track?


and what did he do? I really think Kimi is mostly an OK guy....think about it, he did not get a single dollar this year. What would you do?


Surely if they haven't been paying him any contractual threats Lotus could make against Kimi would go out the window? They can't very well take him to court about failing contractual obligations when the very first response would be that they've yet tot pay for obligations already fulfilled.


Does anyone have a link to audio of the race radio comments?


It's on YouTube.

Matthew Cheshire

So what will Ferrari and Alonso will be thinking about Kimi's new team player antics? "Fernando is faster than you" may be a little too pedestrian to get the point across.


'Fernando is faster than you' kimis reply 'go #*@* yourself'


I think it is a calculated move by Kimi. By threatening not to drive, he has laid down his terms to the team and made sure that for the rest of the season they don't mess around with him of which there has been a lot over the last few weeks.


I have no problem when people swear. In Australia, swearing is a normal part of a conversation.

However, Alan is a just douchebag.


"In Australia, swearing is a normal part of a conversation."

You might find the use of profane language in conversation as acceptable but if you think that is representative of the rest of the population then you need to start mixing outside of your current social circles a bit more.


Very reasonable way of putting it by Lopez although he too did not like the idea of Raikkonen divulging to the media about the non-payment of his salary to the media when it was done. But he seems to be more even-headed than some other members of his team.

Regarding Permane, it is a surprise that he did not even have the guts to offer an apology to the public for using such profane language. I know those words are somewhat common these days as people use it even in offices. However, when those words have become public, then it is imperative to clear the air by issuing an apology. Unfortunately, that four letter word is acceptable when used amongst people you know (especially friends/peers) but it is not so when it is used in public. The fact that Raikkonen was not happy shows that he took umbrage, perhaps not for the word itself (as he himself used it once on the podium), but for the tenor of the message.

I always felt funny that these days that four letter word is so common in movies that you wonder if children really grow up with having never heard that word. We delude ourselves if we think so just like ostriches putting their heads into the sand thinking that they are safe.


do not think Lopez is telling the whole truth. Read this: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111042


Jeez . . . it’s all so . . . entertaining?!


The full article on Lotus website is a very good read and certainly needed to be to ensure the Iceman came to Abu Dhabi- a place of much happiness for the team last year- they should not forget that. Maybe he should just turn up for the remaining Fridays- Sundays also because he's just flying FP2.

I really hope we do not see these recurring brake issues as Romain just had something let go on his car.

What are we going to hear this weekend ".. Oh Dear Sweet Kimi would you kindly return to the pits so that Romain can keep the track warm for you whilst we prepare new tyres and refreshments"..that £ 20 million diff between 4th and 2nd are crucial for Lotus and they need to play catch up because Hamilton is particularly strong here. What a nail biting 3 races we will have for 2nd place and isn't it great we don't even have to talk Bull anymore!


lol..they owe Kimi £22m and counting.


They could just give him his car at then end of the year. He could then take the Lotus 2013 to Ferrari with him, Ferrari can buy it from Kimi, give it to Allison to stick in their windtunnel, and they may be able to make a faster car themselves in 2014.

May be about the only way he'll get paid and everyone wins.

How on earth are Lotus going to get any sponsors with this hanging over them?

Why would Hulk want to drive for them when he'd be living the life of a student, eating beans on toast with Pot Noodles for a year. 😉


Wasn't it Lopez who said he believed Kimi went back to Ferrari because of money and was surprised by that? Now he said they did discuss Kimi decision signing for Ferrari. Looks like this guy has many faces. Anyway, at least Gerald made an effort to cool things down.

I do understand the need to focus on Grosjean, but please treat both drivers fairly especially the team hope to beat Merc and Ferrari in WCC.

Maybe it's time for Alan Permane to clear the air.


The article from Lotus website on Friday morning makes me feel that Lopez is a cunning business guy making use of Kimi's friendship.


Permane should be made to publicly apologize, he may be passionate but in industry talking like that would be a sackable offence.

As I have already said "pay the b***** wages"

Without Kimi half their income would disappear.


There's a thought ... if a driver isn't paid up through any race weekend(s), that they can lodge a grievance, and the team loses the points that driver scored for the team in those races.

Of course, if you're driving for a backmarker team, there's no heft in such a grievance, though they're still risking their lives just as much.


If Kimi owes a lot to Lotus for enabling him to show the world again how good he is, I am positive that Lotus owes him much, much, much more... The two wins were mainly his, my favorite finn has done AN AWESOME JOB, this two years at Enstone. It was very distressing to see the latest developments.

Not proud to be a Lotus fan lately...


Exactly.. But after Brazil it's goodbye Lotus for me. There have been a few races where Kimis challenge to Seb was jeaopardised for many laps to give Romain opportunity- yet 1 corner and the silliest of attempts around the outside of a car with no tyres and we have this uproar - tells you what illogical focus Lotus have in strategic thinking.


I enjoy the radio comments bit. It gives us an extra understanding in what is happening in the race, as small as that might be. On the other hand, sometimes comments can be misinterpreted as we don't get the full exchange. It surely in this case sounded clear enough on its own. Heat of the race and all, it does not seem to be the best way to give instructions to your driver, regardless of its career achievements. I am sure Lotus saw Kimi's departure as a blow to their future.Feelings are probably running a bit high in Lotus at the time being. Still, it is hardly the way to speak to anybody.

Glad to have Kimi competing this week end regardless of what happened. Hope he does well.

By the way, can a transcript of race communications be found on the net, anyone knows?



normally they'll put it up on Wednesday/Thursday after a race weekend but took them a while this time...



I sincerely hope that the future of the Enstone factory is not under threat.

Generally speaking, someone expecting someone else to invest in him, doesn't say too much before the event is finalized, if negotiations are to have any meaning... the fact that Lotus have been speaking about this investment, FOR ABOUT FIVE MONTHS now, doesn't seem very promising.


I like the fact Kimi is brave enough to do and say whatever he wants.


The chatter about Kimi potentially bailing on the last two races has me quite upset. I've already shelled out to attend Austin and, for me at least, my first F1 race in person will be a wash if I can't see my favorite driver compete. I really hope Lotus can get their act together.


Kimi may be contracted to drive but surely the team have already broken the contract by failing to pay him.

Will he push his team mate off the track again? (playfully of course)


I seem to remember Kimis contract stating he is to be paid at the end of season completion. Same last year. I remember Eric stating this at one stage..


My recollection of Boullier's explanation when the money situation first came out, was that they had a choice of paying the drivers or "their people", and opted to pay their people.

He said Kimi would be sorted out at the end of the year, same as last year.

There was no indication from him that the salary was contracted to be paid at the end of the year, only that that was the point in time when Lotus were able to get his money together in 2012. I, and presumably Kimi, would have hoped that wasn't supposed to set a precedent.


Everyones comments are based on presumptions as no one here has seen kimi's contract.


I think that may refer to bonus points. It is my understanding that he has not been paid at all this year, meaning not even the base salary...


Yup, that's why the protest from Kimi.

Glad the Robertson is here at Abu Dhabi.


Has he been paid everything he is owed for last year ?

Seems doubtful


I don't think anyone can blame Kimi for going public over the non-payment of his salary. When Kimi keeps his mouth shut (which is most of the time), the media always seems to assume the worst about him. Even now, they are saying he's lost motivation because he knows he's going to Ferrari, it's pathetic and it never ends. I wish Kimi's manager would do a better job of advocating Kimi's side of the story.




From the comments by the team at a few races after the Ferrari switch news broke, it is quite clear the team does not back Kimi anymore.

Kimi gets on the podium with a severe back problem: "he just got lucky" said Permane after the race, downtalking the great performance of his driver. I mean what the hell is going on there? And then using that sort of hateful tone against your own driver, forget the swearing, it was the tone: like Kimi was some nobody waste of space musquito. Who the hell is Permane, what has he done in F1 to think he has the right to talk to much more talented people like that?

I for one will be glad when Kimi leaves this weird team filled with unprofessional people.


If they finish 4th and not 2nd because Kimi quits or is given crappy strategies.. Permane will have cost Lotus $20m


I like Kimi and don't dislike Lotus, but I think it would have been fun just from the standpoint of creating extra chaos for Kimi to have stayed home. I'd like to see a new driver, any new driver thrown into a somewhat competitive car with little to no warning just to see what he can do. It would be even more fun if Kimi decided to sit out the rest of the season. Imagine the people trying to secure that drive for the last races.


I am sure David will get the drive if that happens.


Davide Valsechi sat in Romains car at Monza last year after RoGros suspension and finished 12th or 14 th. Pretty indicative

Thread the Needle

Not paid a euro all year, shocking treatment by Lotus

Maybe Permane can drive the car for the last three races if he's so smart, that's what I would tell Lotus


Wow! Don't know what to say. Despite not seeing a dime and paying his own way, Kimi has been unbelievably patient through Boulier's taunts, Lopez's criticism, stupid tweets and still driven his heart out. I guess Permane's barking was the last straw. You would that the Lotus guys would be smart enough to realize that it is in their best interest to show him some respect both from the point of view of keeping him happy and maintaining a good image during a time when they are desperately looking for sponsors and partners. Aparently not.

I don't think any of the other top drivers would have done this in Kimi's situation. I don't understand how they thought they were justified in critisizng him for choosing another team that too Ferrari.


A PR self-destruction. Not paying someone for their services for so long doesn't already look good.AP made it much much worse. All the wrong combo. Looking at their webpages, there's an army of KR fans out there and I got strong feeling they are about to or are already switching sides


Its sad isn't?

Imagine what would the other WDCs - Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel or even Webber would have done given the same situation.


No dough = No show, seems fair enough to me.

If my employer didn't pay me for months I think I would stop coming in too until the situation was resolved.

Whilst I accept Kimi doesn't need the money (although I understand the divorce cost him a pretty penny), its the principle that matters.


Not paying him is bad enough, but on top of that to have the gall to treat him applallingly like they have been lately is truly pathetic on Lotus's part.


There is a reasonably famous clip of Patrick Head having some quote strong words for Montoya on the radio at Spa I think it was. It's nothing new and I doubt that plays on Kimi's mind too much.

Not being paid is an absolute disgrace. Let us not forget that despite the safety we now have at races, Kimi is risking his life when he steps into that car. He should at least expect to recieve his fairly negotiated salary.


If not at least a little respect


Or step aside if its all to much.


Kimi just revealed that Lotus has not pay him for a whole year!

Goes to show how patient Kimi has been. Anyone in that position will know that it is a dead end to stay in Lotus.

So after signing Ferrari, Kimi can really show his displeasure working at Lotus. But in the end, he does not deserved to be treated that way in India.


Lotus are leaving a bad taste in the mouth lately, PR wise they have gone from being the fun team to the nasty team... It's like they have regressed into Flavio-era Benetton again.


I don't know what delayed the Quantum deal before, but this situation may also be putting the deal on the skids too.

I went looking for some idea on what the Lotus sponsors think of all this, but found this instead, which had some new insights: http://f1bias.com/2013/10/29/indian-gp-2013-the-kimi-and-permane-radiogate/


Sweet Alan Permane or Boulier or whoever, they have no clue what honestly earned >£10M is and how it feels when it is still due...Jeez, November is outside.

Lopez appears to be very incompetent business manager.


What I cannot understand is, if Kimmi had not been paid at all this year as he said, why wait all that time until the last three races to make a firm stance against Lotus about his salary. Surely any employee would have done something about it a lot earlier than that. Whilst not condoning any swearings, in a highly pressured situation inappropriate words will be used. Kimi of all people should know that as he is not aversed of dishing some of his own at times



Your employer hasn't paid you all year.

You eventually decide to get a job elsewhere.

You get a job elsewhere starting next year.

You still haven't been paid.

You tell your boss about the new job.

You repeat your request to be paid.

Someone in management starts abusing you.

You only have just over a month before you leave your job.

Someone starts suggesting publically that you're not a team player.

You counter by saying you're still playing with the team despite not being paid for a year.

Somebody on a forum can't understand why you're only publically complaining now.



If Lotus are unable to pay their drivers they should not be racing.


I don't ageee with some of the posters who are saying the team are not backing him, thats ludicrous. They need him to get as many points between now and the end of season as possible because 2nd in the constructors is a realistic target and they are clearly desperate for that extra $20m.


Well Kimi, be off, walk if you must. Now we have the unpaid driver to add to the pay driver f1 driver blah blah.

Get Maldondo in now!


Kimi is the new Piquet, money money money...


Was Alan Permane, Alonso's engineer when he was at Renault (blue/yellow livery days)?


No adage Greenwood was - now TD at Marussia


It has been made a silly spectacle out of couple of f-words. I'm sure Kimi as a Finn doesn't panic because of them, actually the messaging stays compact and straight, which is generally important, when there is funnywords built in. If only that radioconversation was done in Finnish, we have a larger vocabulary on f-word language. No big deal, anyway, I think. Bigger deal is in my opinion if the man is not paid his salary.

It sounds so funny that Kimi is called "Iceman". Just because he says things a bit more straight-in-the-matter-wise, just because we Finns usually do. We have no ice here at the moment. A few months in the winter, though.


According to Mika Salo, Kimi also had to pay from his own pocket for accommodation and flights as well.


Certainly the flights thing, I took as given. If you are not being paid, and only coming along to drive, you do have to get to venues under your own steam.

Does give a new slant to the latest news - although granted a couple of thousand of our own currency is probably a bigger deal to posters here than an F1 driver, it means that when Kimi did not turn up in Abu Dhabi, the team had to contact him and persuade him to pay his OWN MONEY to get a flight in from Finland or wherever he was.

There is breaking a contract (not paying), and then there is being ******* cheeky.


Also some interesting info on how Kimi "didn´t turn up" for the PR stuff:



Being very selfish here, I hope Kimi continues to drive for the rest of the season as we are going from BC, Canada to Austin Texas to the race, and really hope to see him race!

Let's hope they come to an amicable agreement.


"but he made the team sweat, not appearing on Thursday for media commitments"

I think Kimi missing out thursday press conference is just being played out by Lotus PR:



If he had been called to appear in FIA press conference he would have been there no doubt

This week it was just team media sessions


Ferrari should just bring Kimi in early.

Lotus must be in breach of contract. Leave it to the lawyers to sort out the mess.

If Lotus don't have the money - I don't see how Kimi will recover what he is owed without a messy law suit. Lotus will drag out the legal proceedings before paying Kimi. 17 million Euro will be spent and is being spent on next year's car, before Kimi will be paid.

Kimi is being extraordinarily gentlemanly to still be driving for free on good faith.

I'm sure there are some of us who have friends, customers, business partners owe us money. Very polite, always the intention to repay; but many don't get out of the financial hole to be able to repay.

Experience tells us that at some point we need to move on. Until the debt is repaid, you'll always hear "don't worry, we are very close to getting this/doing that/ . . . You will be repaid, don't worry".

Does the repayment happen? Certainly not in all cases.

When debt is outstanding for 3 months, alarm bells should start ringing.

Kimi should just move on, put on the red suit and battle Alonso!


I feel very sad to see Lotus behaving like this. That black-and-gold John Player Special in the hands of Ayrton Senna in Portugal/1985 lapping everyone but for #2 was my first, most vivid memory of real F1. Doubly sad it is happening to Kimi.

I think Kimi will drive with a vengeance this weekend - and then pull out.


While I understand Kimi's problem, there are also many engineers, team members, etc that also need to be paid, who would probably need it more. Lotus have been taking advantage of his goodwill and desire to race to avoid paying him, but that runs out after a while if you don't manage it. And Lotus haven't.

Also, depending on the payment terms in his contract, he would not be in breach if did not turn up from now on. He didn't withdraw in 2012, because didnt have the Ferrari drive for the subsequent year to look forward to. He does now, so he doesn't care.

But all this really highlights in my view, is how fragile team's finances are at the moment, if the No2 constructor (according to the current standings) is struggling for cash even to pay its driver. Meanwhile CVC is sucking the sport dry.

To borrow A Permane's expression, how @#$@#'d is that!


"While I understand Kimi’s problem, there are also many engineers, team members, etc that also need to be paid, who would probably need it more."

According to Eric Boullier when this first got out - or at least when I first heard about it, all the other people you mentioned, have been paid.

Paraphrasing: "We had a choice of paying the drivers, or our people. We chose our people."


When vettel did a multi 21 on Webber, it was a crime that he refused team orders. Why can't the same f@$%ng logic be applied to kimi


LOL where have you been?


The engineers are as much a part of the team as the driver. The engineer's instructions were on the team's behalf. Why should a separate logic be applied to the driver?


First up, you have your timeline wrong

Step One - Grojean tries to pass Kimi on the outside of a corner

Step Two - Kimi loses back end while trying to take corner, and it swipes Grosjean

Step Three - "Team Order" arrives over radio.

If the team order had been step one, your suggestion about the logic would be valid.

'Kay? 'Kay.


Lotus is a temporary project. They rented name for several years only. As soon as money ends, they are closed. Most probable scenario is an overtake by some make like Renault, VW, may be somebody from Japan...


That's the problem when you have Lopez/Genii, an investment company owning a racing team.


I'm sure most of you know that using expletives in radio messages are common in F1 circles, just to ensure that they are not broadcasted to the viewing public. However, Permane's rant to Raikkonen deserves a rebuke as it was not called for at all. It would have made a *bit* of sense if he had been telling him to give up the place for two laps or so, finally bursting out with that line. But, if that was the first instance where he asked Kimi to give up the place, then it was totally uncalled for.

I'm not a great Kimi fan. But out of the current crop of drivers, I admire him for his no-nonsense attitude and frankness/racecraft. I've always had a small suspicion that Lotus were less aggressive when it came to Kimi's strategies often settling for second rather than try to win.They play it safe when they should be taking risks and do it the other way around like they did in India.

Just a feeling I have.


James, so since Lotus allegedly hasn't paid raikkonen, Kimi can sue Lotus for breach of contract, because Lotus owes kimi their fiduciary duty right?surely, they can't say we will pay him and not pay him on time.


KIMI was really hurt by the way he responded immediately and I felt for him. Not getting paid and still doing his best for Lotus is a long yardstick. It's worse than Ferrari's orders to Massa, rather rude in fact, am disappointed with Lotus as it sounded so cheap.

But the fact that KIMI is a multi millionaire the money is no big deal to him. KIMI just wants to go racing and have some fun. Kudos to the iceman!

Abu Dhabi should be good race.


Just Imagine if Alonso was in Kimi's place,

1) Fighting for P2 in WDC,

2) Fighting for P2 in WCC,

3) Not being paid a single Euro for whole year,

4) Accused of not being a team player,

5) And told to "get out the f***ing Way"

Lotus should fell Lucky that they have Kimi who has shown great patience over this entire episode.


Back when we cared about Sebastien Vettel's recent successes, there were comparisons with Ayrton Senna. Not sure why, wasn't listening.

Although for different reason, perhaps Kimi can be compared for how many months or races driving a car for free, or does it not count as there is a promise of payment later on?

James, hello. Not sure how you would find out, but do you know if the HRT people ever recovered their wages?

Last thing I heard about them was police being called to their last meeting (team closure announcement) because engineers and mechanics had not been paid for months.


Can you imagine any top footballer in the English Football Premier League playing one match not to mention a whole season without been paid??? Kimi is a World Champion... Lotus is a business venture not a charity team.. so why should they assume a world champion driver will drive for free! All the extra media exposure the Ice-man has brought to Lotus is worth it's weight in gold.

Of course Grosjean is keeping quiet - he's like the cat that got the cream... this time 12 months ago he was driving demolition derby style and dodged a bullet from been axed and is now their Number 1 Driver in waiting!


I wonder if team principle Eric B has been getting a salary this year?

Why should Kimi have to sacrifice his pay? They could of at least made a token payment of 20% thus far?

Hold back Alan's salary and see if it is pleasant to be sworn at for free?


I think it is not only Kimi whom has not been paid in the Lotus team. Mr. Permane and many others probably will not receive part of their salaries and bonuses either, unless Lotus finished 2nd on the team side.

Probably a lot of sponsorship deals have fallen through also lately. Kimi leaving collapsed the facade for good. The team is obviously in disarray, in cash crisis and desperately trying to finish 2nd to earn their salaries!

Anyway, the unprofessionalism under pressure by Mr. Permane is making things even worse for the team. He should be fired immediately.


I don't think that the shouting of Permane can be identified with Lotus. I guess the person is somewhat unstable and should not be allowed on the pit wall. As for Raikkonen, the shouting was the last drop. If the Lotus does not sort out their issues with him, there is a very high probability that he will not race in Brasil, especially if Lotus gets very close to winning the second place in constructors championship.


Oh well, what a PR disaster this has turned out to be.

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