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Raikkonen To Miss Final Races of 2013
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Posted By:   |  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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1

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.

2

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!?

3

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.

4

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.

5

> money Lotus have available to pay a driver

HAHAHA

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

6

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.

7

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.

8

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

9

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?

10

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.

11

Massa has already signed with Williams for 2014.

Hopefully DV gets the drive.

12

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

13

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

14

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?

15

I hope DV gets the drive too.

16

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.

17

Huge Bummer.

Get well soon Kimmi……..

18

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!

19

I nominate Valsecchi and Calado.

20

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.

21

Way to pull it out of….

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

22

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.

23

I think Pastor to Lotus is done

24

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…

25

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

26

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?

27

Into Grosjean’s recent podium finishes 😉

28

What a pity!

Now nobody will go and check the gate at Interlagos 🙂

29

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.

30

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.

31

This. Even delays are give horrible vibes.

32

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.

33

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?)

34

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.

35

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

36

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

37

Raiders of the Lost Hulk? Sorry…had to 🙂

38

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…?

39

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

40

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.

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