Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Lotus apologises for Raikkonen radio messages

2013 Indian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Lotus say a heated radio exchange involving Kimi Raikkonen during yesterday’s race was “not appropriate” and apologised for it.

In the latter part of the race Raikkonen’s pace had slowed due to tyre wear. He fell to third place and was being caught by team mate Grosjean, who in turn was under pressure from Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

Grosjean caught Raikkonen on the straight leading to turn four. But Raikkonen moved to cover the inside of the corner, then forced his team mate off the track.

A censored radio message from Lotus’s trackside operations director Alan Permane to Raikkonen was played during the race broadcast ordering him to “get out of the ******* way”. Raikkonen swore back at his team and told them not to talk to him while he was cornering.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said: “Romain was two seconds per lap faster than Kimi at that time, so it was not even a team order.”

“By asking Kimi to let Romain pass, we just made the obvious choice, as Massa could have stolen our podium.

“With hindsight, this radio message could have been sent in a less emotional way. There was a lot of tension, a lot of potential technical problems, and some of the words that flew around were simply not appropriate.

“I know that quite a few people were surprised and I can only apologise for that on behalf of the team. It won?t happen again.”

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

187 comments on “Lotus apologises for Raikkonen radio messages”

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  1. Due to social media F1 has become a lot more sociable and it’s nice to be able to follow the drivers and team personnel and see what goes both behind the scenes and sometimes get a glimpse of their personal lives. However it’s sad that a few idiots decided to send abuse to Permane just because he shouted at the holy untouchable demi-God Kimi Raikkonen. Honestly I think Raikkonen has some of the worst fans in the sport, don’t get me wrong here but judging from some on the comments on here, Youtube, Twitter and other forums it seems that Kimi is the only driver above criticism. Of course this is only the minority and most Kimi fans are actually decent people but it is truly sad some of the things that this handful of people spout all over the internet.

    Just for the record I think it wasn’t right for Permane to yell at Kimi like that (even though we don’t know the whole story) but it’s too late to change anything and the reaction from some people has been way over the top. I’m pretty sure arguments and swearing happens on a frequent basis between drivers and their engineers. I don’t see why this fallout suddenly exploded in such a way.

  2. There was no need for an apologize. The swearing was nowhere near discussion worthy. It happened before to Grosjean in Korea.

    The main issue I’m rather having that Kimi fans aren’t acting rational at all. They treat Permane as new enemy because he was a rude to their favourite driver. Kimi was often behaving like a monkey towards others – in Abu Dhabi 2012 or the comment about Perez after Monaco 2013 for example. Additionally you shouldn’t forget how often Grosjean had to let Kimi pass during 2012 and 2013. It was about time that he shows some humbleness and gives Grosjean the place without a big fight – he should have the racing intelligence to know when to give up.

    It’s even more amazing that Kimi fans suddenly went crazy towards the team that allowed their driver more PR freedom than ever before. That Lotus didn’t pay him money shouldn’t be an arguement for a driver that is considered a “pure heart racer”.

    The whole topic has been overinflated thanks to the heavy criticism (and more than that…) on Lotus by the Kimi fans on social media. There is a difference between being a supporter and irrational fanatic hating on everything that is against their favourite driver/team.

    1. The issue doesn’t have anything to do with the swearing.

      Does your boss scream at you in font of co-workers and in front of clients? Would it be the correct protocol for a boss to follow?

      How can people not understand this?

      Any discussions between drivers and race engineers are among equals, but you dont have a senior member with more power scream at someone in public. That is just demeaning and bullying behavior.

      How did Lotus give Kimi more PR freedom? He did a lot more PR for them then Grosjean ever did.

      1. @Angelia. Once again, ok for football coach to yell at players? Of course it is. Comparing this to a normal job is stupid, pay me $10 mil or so and yell at me all you want.

        1. Once again I dont watch soccer but okay I’ll bite.

          A coach is there to, well coach. Drivers dont need coaches, and especially not while they are driving around with worn out tyres and brakes that isn’t working at 300km/h.
          A coach runs around on a massive open filed with hundreds of people cheering, talking at the same time. If he doesn’t shout no one would hear him. Soccer is a team sport everyone has to work together towards the team goal and everyone has the same goal for the team. That does not apply in F1.

          As for F1 it is a sport, but there also a normal business structure within F1 that you dont find in other sports. In team sports everyone is much more equal, whereas F1 has a big hierarchy. It does make sense to apply some of the same laws to F1 that would do in any other business, as F1 is also a business.

          Do you have any other examples of where senior team members screamed at their drivers in public?

          1. Referring to a coach yelling at players when they are not running around with people screaming, this happens all the time in multiple sports. Very easy to find.

            “Do you have any other examples of where senior team members screamed at their drivers in public?”. Yes but it’s irrelevant, I do not see a problem, Kimi deserved to cop it, he wears it and everyone moves on. It’s only armchair experts making a big thing of it.

            David Coulthard has explained of some woppers that used to flow via the McLaren radio, I know they weren’t broadcast, if that’s an issue for you and others like you, then blame the broadcaster for choosing to air it.

          2. This wasn’t such a small thing, according to the French press Kimi and Permane continued to fight in the hostility area where everyone could see it.
            Again this would have been a great opportunity for Permane to discuss the issue behind closed doors, rather then fighting with his driver in public.

            So you dont have any examples then? Dont you find it in the least bit strange? If this suppose to be such a normal thing, why doesn’t anyone have other examples of senior personal screaming at their drivers in public?

      2. If the employee has been stupid the manager has the right to raise the voice to drive the point through the thick skull.

        1. Sure and he can do it behind closed doors not in public.

          Where exactly was Kimi so stupid, Grosjean tried to overtake him in a fast coner while barely had working brakes and his car was sliding. Grosjean could also have tried to find a better spot.

          1. @angelia don’t even bother trying to discuss this issue with the kimi-haters, especially the biggest kimi-hater-of-them-all, @keithcollantine. Rest assured that if it was any driver other than Kimi who was being subjected to verbal abuse in front of a global TV audience, despite also not having been paid any of the wages owed him by his employer, keith would be the first one to write an editorial lamenting the situation.

          2. @joepa I didn’t consider the comment “abuse” for reasons already explained. As always I’m happy to discuss the facts but I’m not going to waste my time on silly things like being called a ‘Kimi hater’ or being accused of hypocrisy on hypothetical grounds.

  3. I would love to see how people would have reacted if it was Helmut Marko screaming at Webber to get out of Vettel’s way or if Domenicalli was screaming at Massa to get out of Alonso’s way. But even second drivers are not treated like this by senior team personal.

    1. Helmut Marko, Stefano Domenicalli and Alan Permane all have very different roles within their respective teams. Not sure what point you’re trying to make with that statement.

      1. They are all senior team members. The point is that there is no reason the handle to handle a situation where one teammate has to pass the other in such a way. It was Permane’s fault that Kimi was there to begin with.
        When Massa was told to let Alonso pass the team handled it delicately. When Webber was told to let Vettel pass in Brasil last year they asked him, and didn’t comply. There was championship at stake but the team didn’t scream at Webber.
        In Germany this year when Grosjean was asked to let Kimi pass he took 5 laps to do it, and no one had any issue with that. Permane certainly didn’t scream at him.

        Give me example of how often do you hear senior team members screaming at drivers in public? I would like to see it, if this was such an ordinary everyday event.

        1. if the team wanted to avoid another “Leave me alone, I know what i’m doing moment,” they had to bring their point across in a stronger way. they did. Permane didn’t say “Hey, ******, move out of the way.” he emphasized urgency in the passion of the moment. and that’s fine in sports.

          now, you keep talking about some unspecific work environments, seemingly asking to compare the situation to everyday office jobs. this is ridiculous. F1 is a supersport – the grand combination of show-business and top-tier sports entertainment. anywhere you look in these areas, you’ll see strong language used in the heat of the moment, exchanged between ‘senior members’ and ‘personnel’ – stars/managers, actors/producers/directors, team owners/players, etc. often time we are talking about millionaires arguing – it’s all acceptable FOR THEM. i could understand this point, if Kimi was suddenly offended and spearheaded the office anti-bullying movement. but he’s quite fine with the entire thing and is likely already passed it, being concerned with the money issue and all…

          i wonder what would Ron or Flavio say…

  4. First off, I’m not a huge Kimi fan.

    Initially I thought Kimi was in the wrong, but rewatching things, I don’t think Kimi was trying to be overly aggressive in the corner. If you watch, he totally loses traction on his tires, and for the rest of that lap and the next one he’s basically driving on ice and barely keeping it on the road.

    It also sounded like in his next set of messages is that he was trying to find a could place to pull to let Grojean through.

    Also, in his career, Kimi’s never had issues of being passive aggressive towards his team. He’s not out there deliberately trying to muck things up for his teammate. He’s many things, but that doesn’t seem to be the way Kimi operates.

    And if anyone had reason to be frustrated, it is Kimi. With brake issues, being left out with tires that had already fallen straight off the cliff and were dead, etc.

    You know, Red Bull gets slammed, but constantly we hear how RB will pit Webber to get out of Vettel’s way (whether true or not, it’s a good way to do it). Ferrari has done that to Massa. Lotus SHOULD have done that with Kimi. Before that incident, with Kimi losing 2 plus seconds a lap, they should have pulled him in for fresh rubber and there would not have been an incident. But Lotus probably got greedy hoping for Kimi to hang on somehow for an even higher finish.

    Permane didn’t look good. I’m glad Lotus apologized. I have more respect for them. We admire drivers for raising their hands when they make mistakes, so should we admire teams for doing the same.

    1. If Kimi didn’t want to be aggressive in defending his position he shouldn’t be driving on the inside (defensive) line of the corner. If he left the inside line for RG he would have been overtaken without the risk of collision and as a benefit would’ve have a better exit speed off the corner loosing less time to Massa and the other cars behind.

  5. it is good that Kimi is going to Ferrari – this screaming as Pemane held on the team radio does not fit into Formula One .. addition that it was he who was responsible for the non-existent strategy in India. !! ??

  6. I’m beginning to think the apologies came because the initial swearing by Permane was predicted on Kimi purposefully fighting for position against his teammate, and after the race and the debrief, realizing that Kimi actually wasn’t doing that. So Permane had egg on his face. Lotus as a team did.

    1. Isn’t it?

  7. Ha! Yelling at someone who you owe some 10M$ is not a good idea anyway.

  8. Kimi should Qualify atleast 12th for the rest of the season, and finish a max 8th. That would teach the potty mouth clowns some manners.

    1. NO WAY! Better for him to keep scoring as many points as possible: Lotus team owe him 50,000euro per point!!

  9. people don’t get a simple thing.
    it’s not the sweraing itself, u say “sorry” and it’s over…it can happen.
    it’s that everybody saw why raikkonen immediately became number 2 driver in favour of gros.
    now everybody has another prove of it.
    and don’t get me wrong. they don’t sabotage kimi as they didn’t sabotage romain before…simply inverted number one and 2 driver.
    lotus once said “in our team there’s no number one and two driver.” implying that both have same materials and opportunities…what a lie! romain and kimi have totallly different driving style…how could they accomplish to satisfy both of them?if one is favored, the other one suffers.
    lotus deceived tons of fans by stating untrue things. they DO have number one and two drivers just like the majority of teams. wake up!!
    now of course they want romain to take the majority of points and place kimi somewhere in the top ten…there is a big difference between a second place and even a fourth place in terms of points.
    why do they act like that?because romain has a fixed salary, without bonus. they aren’t able to pay raikkonen’s past salaries…how could they manage to pay him 20 points per race(60000 eu per point)?

    moreover they have to show sponsors that even romain is a number one top driver and lotus can do well also without kimi.
    normal things which has happened tons of times in f1 which is a money based sport. we have seen many scandals in recent years and many others surely happened without we even know about them. forget talent.
    if u look for pure talents to be protected then watch some other sports like athletics.

  10. As far as I can remember, Lotus didn’t take that well the fact that Raikkonen talked about the money issue or the fact that he’s switching teams. I think that the team radio message got blown out of proportion due to this context.

    Of course it was on the spur of the moment, I can understand that, but the apology is welcome in this case. After all Lotus is the employer that doesn’t pay the employee… It’s not about how much money Raikkonen already has, it’s about principle.

  11. Can someone please help me out. What exactly did Kimi answer? I have tried in vain to find out.

  12. I am not really shocked by what happened with Raikkonen, nor was I shocked by his response. Whether it was right or wrong is a matter of opinion, but Kimi knows his days at Lotus are finished. The championship is finished, and next year he can concentrate on making his return to Ferrari. Permane won’t be bothered either, he knows Raikkonen won’t be there in 2014.
    This was always going to happen once Raikkonen’s move to Ferrari had been made official, and that was the best part of two months ago now. It is natural that Lotus would support Grosjean, a driver who they now see as their future #1, over a driver who is leaving to one of their biggest rivals at the end of the season. The same happened last year with Lewis Hamilton. Once McLaren knew he was going, that was it! Their only concern after that was Jenson Button, the man they knew they were keeping. Same as always.
    It is regrettable that this exchange was broadcast live, but that is how the cookie crumbles. The same people who are complaining now about the swearing are often the same people who complain about the lack of passion in F1.
    We don’t need robots in this sport, we need all the passionate people we can get. I personally loved Vettel’s burnout at the end of the Indian Grands Prix, but it was so F1 wasn’t it that he was punished for it by the stewards.

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