Lotus apologises for Raikkonen radio messages

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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.”

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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187 comments on Lotus apologises for Raikkonen radio messages

  1. 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.

  2. Christer (@calback) said on 31st October 2013, 21:24

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

  3. 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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