Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013

Raikkonen warns he may miss last two races as Lotus “haven’t paid a single Euro”

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013Kimi Raikkonen has warned Lotus the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be his last drive for them if they do not pay him his outstanding wages.

Raikkonen told reporters in Abu Dhabi “I haven’t been paid a single Euro this year” by the team.

“It’s an unfortunate thing because I understand the team’s side of it,” said Raikkonen.

“But sometimes when you been put in a position and told different stories and people thinks that you don’t work for the team or you don’t care what happens to them it’s not exactly true if I’m doing it without being really being paid.”

Raikkonen said he had considered not racing because of the situation. He has already agreed to drive for Ferrari next and said earlier in the season the shortfall in payments from Lotus was part of the reason why.

He indicated he had addressed the matter with the team again in Abu Dhabi, saying: “Hopefully we have a bit better understanding on certain issues what has been going through the whole year.”

“I mean unfortunately we end up in that kind of situation and is not really anything to do with me. In the end we try to enjoy this team but on the other side it’s a business and if you don’t respect on that side you can end up in this kind of situation.”

Raikkonen added the radio row between him and trackside operations director Alan Permane was not a significant factor in his warning to the team or his refusal to show up for media engagements yesterday:

“In the end it has happened and it doesn’t change anything any more. But I mean that’s not the reason why I wasn’t here yesterday, it’s part of it but I wouldn’t say that this is a big part of it.”

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165 comments on “Raikkonen warns he may miss last two races as Lotus “haven’t paid a single Euro””

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  1. Th definition of poetic justice would be Kimi wins in Abu Dhabi!

    1. Indeed! Although I don’t think the team would be very happy because it would be 25 more points added to their debt!

      1. @toiago But also 25 points added to WCC, which they need. Make no mistake, the relationships between Lotus and Raikkonen are in an all-time low, but they still need him to perform the best he can (or want).

        1. On Kimi’s bonus, each race win costs Lotus €1.25M (€50k per point), if they ever find it will be another matter.

      2. Try and understand, POINTS = INCOME for the team as well as Kimi.

      3. I was just joking, I’m well aware of the benefits of scoring as much points as possible. Apparently I wasn’t very clear in my previous comment.

    2. I’m all in, my pick for the win is Raikkonen. (Vettel for pole.) ahem

  2. At first I thought Kimi was being a bit petty with his demands, but if he really hasn’t been paid at all, well that is shocking. If anyone here wasn’t paid for their job all year, they would have the right to complain or leave, it doesn’t matter if Kimi’s very rich, the principle is he hasn’t been paid. I would like him to miss the last two races to see who Lotus used, I hope it’s d’Ambrosio!

  3. So basically lotus keeps on pressing Kimi’s buttons. First they dont pay him his money for driving fantastically all year, then they let a Alan shout and curse on the radio. Uncool Lotus!!!

    1. Exactly, and so very very very smart of Kimi to leave Lotus. He himself said, in response to a question from Ted Kravitz, that he was never treated like that at either McLaren or Ferrari.

      Lotus =/= class

  4. Kimi, do a solid and opt out of the race remaining in the calendar. Help Ferrari with 2nd spot and get paid more next year.

    Double Whammy :)

  5. I feel so sorry for Raikkonen, having to drive one of the best cars in the world for nothing… Oh wait… No I don’t!

    1. +1000

      Other drivers has to pay to get that seat, he cant even be bothered to show up for sponsor work or be bothered to join his teams for off race work if he doesn’t like the car, reacts like a kid when spoken to.

      Good riddance, hope he gets shafted at Ferrari, what a child.

      1. “Other drivers have to pay to get that seat” – Surely you are not saying Maldonado/some other driver is equal to Kimi.

        Kimi is a 1-time WDC and has scored consistently for Lotus following his return. Anyone who does his job deserves to be paid, Period.

      2. “reacts like a kid when spoken to” So you have spoken with Kimi how many times? You probably own a few shares on Rexona too, because the lack of PR work is a concern for you. I like watching him race and “i couldn’t care less” if he’s not promoting anti-perspirants.

      3. -1001

        Any good reasons to show up for sponsor work if you haven’t been paid all season? :D Especially when sponsor work is Kimis favorite hobby number 2, number 1 is seeing his dentist.

      4. When you are ready to work for free let me know.

      5. Pay drivers dont put 168 points in the bank .

      6. You know, having to pay for your seat is not exactly a merit ;)

      7. Why show up to sponsor events?

        Because its his ****** job, thats why, if you guys haven’t noted theres a global financial crisis going on, meanwhile this little spoiled brat is complaining about everything, showing the attitude of a 13 year old.

        Wish he would just leave so we don’t have to listen to his pathetic attempt at English one word sentences which he cant even be bothered with learning properly for x millions a year.

        So he didn’t get paid so far, if he has half a brain he wouldn’t exactly need money by now ( he may have spend it all on Vodka for all I know), but he got to be on one of the best teams in F1, he could have made it work, worked with them to better the car, instead he just walks the minute the car doesn’t suit him. Good riddance, hope he gets the second fiddle at Ferrari.

        1. Yes, its his job. His job he HASN’T BEEN PAID FOR, so why the hell should he continue doing it? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

          From all appearances its not so much the money as it is the principal, would you continue to do your job if you weren’t being paid for it?

          I think not, I know this cause I certainly wouldn’t do my job if I was supposed to be being paid for it and I wasn’t getting paid.

          Sure, he may have a few mil in the bank, but why shouldn’t he continue to get paid for doing his job. I suspect you despise Kimi for some reason and are using this as an opportunity to bereate him. Guess what, its stupid. Personally I don’t like Kimi either, I think he’s bit of a jerk, but I support him in this because its a matter of principles.

          Do all of us a favour and shut up

          1. Sure, he may have a few mil in the bank, but why shouldn’t he continue to get paid for doing his job.

            PLUS he has been paying HIS expenses and his SUPPORT TEAM’S expenses out of his own pocket! Of course he needs to get paid to recover these expenses! Sheesh, people!

        2. Hasn’t been paid for YET… if nothing else he can take them to court.

          Bottom line is he was given a once on in a lifetime change to come back to F1 and work with 1 of the best teams to do great things, and instead getting on with the tasks he has been busy yelling “Don’t talk to me while I’m cornering” and walking away when the steering doesn’t fit him when really he should have just stuck with it, doing the laps that the team needs to get crucial info.

          An yes I do plenty of “free” work, local clubs, red cross, you name it, its a gift to be allowed to do it, just like it should have been a gift to Raikkonen to be allowed to race for one of the greats after he walked away demotivated once (at Ferrari).

          Spoiled brat, nothing else.

          1. You talk about taking multi-million dollar companies to court as an individual like it’s a walkthrough procedure. LOL

            Bottom line is he was given a once on in a lifetime change to come back to F1 and work with 1 of the best teams to do great things, and instead getting on with the tasks he has been busy yelling “Don’t talk to me while I’m cornering” and walking away when the steering doesn’t fit him when really he should have just stuck with it, doing the laps that the team needs to get crucial info.

            Number of races RAI has started this year: 16/16. Number of races he has finished this year: 15/16. Number of finishes in points this year: 14/16. No matter how you feel about him or his antics personally, you can hardly accuse him of not having done his job. And don’t tell me Lotus didn’t know *exactly* who they were hiring when they signed RAI, promotional buffoonery and all. Although I sympathize with the team’s situation, this is all part of the deal Lotus is now dishonoring. You just can’t have the cake and eat it.

          2. @tvm Except he was supposed to be paid his salary in equal portions, therefore he hasn’t been paid for 89% (end of Abu Dhabi) of his work completed. Thats 89% of his salary that was due at certain dates that hasn’t been paid.

            I sense you despise Raikkonen for how he acts and fair enough, you don’t like the man. I can’t stand Hamilton, but if he was in this situation I would say exactly the same things as I am about Raikkonen who I happen to quite like.

            You need to see that this is a serious issue irrespective of the fact it was Kimi, imagine it was your favourite driver in this situation, I doubt you’d be saying the same things you are now.

  6. A F1 driver on strike! That’s not something you see every day. :)

    If I were paranoid, I would say he has made a shady deal with Ferrari to prevent Lotus from passing the italian team in the standings by not driving for them…

  7. 2 races without Kimi? Hey Boullier listen to me!!!!!!!!!!! Give the car to Maldonado one race, and to Hulkenberg on the other. The best of them both gets the contract for next year. If they want to be unpaid of course.

    1. It’s a no-brainer… THE HULK all the way

    2. The point is that Maldonado comes along better than unpaid, in financial terms at least.
      Even if they pay Hulk zero, even if he agreed to do it for absolutely nothing, they’d be somewhere in the region of €40M better off with Maldonado.

      Caveat: I’m not including any potential points difference, cost of replacing written off F1 cars or potential developmental input.

      1. That’s a big caveat. Hulk’s point haul vs “bad present’s” (MAL= bad donado=Gift?) and the extra cost of making more carbon fibre for him = Hulk more than makes up for any amount of money left (probably marginal) in the PDVSA coffer after the big scandal in Venezuela.

  8. I said when Lotus announced that they had signed Kimi that their limited resources would have been better spent on developing the car than paying a driver’s salary. Now it seems they’ve had the best of both worlds.

    There’s no denying that Kimi’s time with Lotus has largely been a success, and car development hasn’t really suffered, but clearly the team is in a difficult situation financially and owing their lead driver millions of Euros isn’t exactly helping matters.

    I wonder if Lotus were hoping Raikkonen unilaterally wouldn’t turn up for Abu Dhabi (he says he considered it after India) so that they could claim breach of contract and get out of some of their financial obligations?

    1. @red-andy

      they could claim breach of contract and get out of some of their financial obligations

      Kinda difficult to claim breach of contract when you haven’t been paying your employee.

  9. Agree with Keith Collantine that it’s shocking that a team which could realistically finish as the second best team in Formula 1 (from a points standing view) does not yet have enough money to pay one of their drivers.

    Is this really a case of simply not having a lucrative enough sponsorship deal? If true, that also is a shame. And confusing for me. Lotus have already had a major upswing in performance since 2012. Why a large company wouldn’t want to be a major sponsor for a popular and sleek looking team with one of if not THE most popular driver on the grid in Raikkonen maybe speak more about the economic climate then we thought. Or maybe interest in Formula 1 sponsorship is down, although I haven’t read any such stories.

    Lotus just need a hip a colorful cigarette company to change their entire paint scheme and I’m sure they would be fine. Just as long as company doesn’t mind their product name to never even show in any country ever.

    A legitimate John Player Special branding would look spectacular! I can dream…

  10. A sad state of affairs, but I do agree that paying the team’s employees is priority over Kimi’s wages

    1. As employees, they will have 1st. claim over assets, Kimi (likely) has no such protection.

  11. Someone needs to grow up. There are so many people who would like to be in his position right now. Yeah, I get that not being paid for a year is bad, and that if any of us regular people were in the same position, we would leave our job, or whatever, but the fact is we’re not. He probably has millions in his account, not to mention he gets to race one of the best cars in the world.

    I remember reading Jenson Button’s Championship year book, which in it said that because of the financial state of the team, he had to pay for his flights, accommodation and everything like that, which cost him a lot of money, but he did it because he enjoys what he does, and realises that it’s a privilege.

    The fact of the matter is that if he helps Lotus secure second in the Championship, then he is more likely to be paid. But then again, if he doesn’t want to do it, then that’s up to him, let someone who actually appreciates the chance to drive these cars.

    1. Considering the fact that he’s done the vast majority of the races this year, I’m pretty sure he does appreciate the chance to be racing this year. If he’d left after 4 or 5 races or so then I’d possibly agree, but not when he’s done 16 (17 by the end of the weekend) out of 19.

      Lotus and Raikkonen have a contractual agreement and Lotus are not delivering their part of the deal. Raikkonen expected to be paid throughout the year for his services and Lotus haven’t held up their part of the deal, so why should Raikkonen continue to race for them? Just because Raikkonen usually earns millions every year doesn’t mean he should have to work for free for a year.

    2. Kimi has also been paying for his flights and accommodation. Kimi already renegotiated the contract last year after Lotus struggled to pay him, he did take a pay cut. Out of all of the WDC he is earning the least.

      There is of course many people who would like to drive the car, but they not going to score as much points as Kimi. That is what Lotus is paying for.

    3. @jamiefranklinf1 – “Someone needs to grow up.

      It’s a grown up world. Business owners and managers allocate resources. They contract for labor and services to enable their business to function. It was their decision to hire Kimi. It was his decision to drive 16 races without pay.

      I ran my own business for over 20 years and had to make payroll. My employees were always paid on time whether it was easy or not and whether there was anything left for me.

      The question isn’t really how much money Kimi does or does not have. We don’t really know. The answer is the contract that was offered and signed by all parties. If he had not signed with Lotus, he could have signed with another team and got paid.

      Being paid is not always just about the money. It is also recognition for your contributions. A former employer cheated myself and 20 other employees out of contracted pay we earned for every hour we worked over the previous year. The employer chose not to pay us. The fact that our contributions were deemed worthless when we put our heart and soul into our work hurt just as bad as not getting paid.

    4. Yeah and by that reasoning all drivers should drive for free or pay to drive then? Lets remember it’s the principal of the matter, and this being Raikkonnens means of earning a living. One should never take wealth for granted, as a bad investment could easily deplete Raikkonnens wealth . Just remember James Hunt and Lloyd’s. Its his right to be paid as there is a contract. I don’t get this nonsense of its a privledge to drive an F1 car so he doesn’t need to be paid, yes it’s a privledge but he is only driving in F1 because he has a rare talent to do so brilliantly that not many others have.

  12. I wonder what their justification is for paying some employees 100% of salary (presumably) and some none at all? I suppose Kimi might have offered some leeway near the start of the season, bearing in mind he can live without it, but even in that case i doubt he would have expected it to go on for the whole season. Surely they should have paid something, even a token amount to keep relations going. Whole situation seems bizarre and until this i assumed rumours of Kimi not turning up to races was just media hype.

    I hope he does turn up for the final races, and he may want to anyway since there is limited winter testing and he wouldn’t want to lose any running time over his rivals. But can understand if he doesn’t on principal, it’s an insult to anyone to not get paid, especially someone who is one of the best in the world at what he does.

    1. To answer the first line of your post, Kimi’s wages are roughly equal to around 300 employees at the factory, without those people Kimi wouldn’t have a car to race.

      I’m not making excuses for them, though I think it’s fair to assume Eric has had his chain yanked by this Infinity/Quantum deal and fully expected and intended to pay Kimi his salary.

  13. Just popped in to point out something to all those “kimi all ready has enough of money” -commentators there.

    When a top athlete makes a contract in the sporting world it’s not really an individuals salary we are talking about. Most likely Kimi has obligations towards his managers, he has personnel working for him etc. Not being paid also means the travel costs and what not falls on his organisation. These are just the basics but we get the picture. So, depending on what contracts Kimi has towards people working for him, not only is he not getting paid, he is effectively lending money Lotus. And it’s very likely counted in millions.

    So, not only his salary but also getting back all that money he’s paid out of his pocket to keep things running on his end is resting on a Lotus’ word that they will not go bankrupt.

    No one in their right minds would gamble all that money (what ever the true amount is) so, really I’m just saying, that looks like a guy who likes to race and it just stuns me how someone can consider him a whiner or the bad guy in this!

    Still, first and foremost I feel bad for Lotus. This is a no win situation for all parties, really.

  14. This is the clearest indication, if any further indication was needed, that F1 is in dire situation. Only 2 or 3 teams can continue to spend as they currently are and even those teams who can currently afford it may not be willing to do so in the future. We have seen car manufacturers come and go, what happens to Red Bull and Toro Rosso when Dietrich decides to take his money elsewhere? The rest of the grid is struggling to survive. Lotus, Sauber, Williams, Force India all are a facing a very difficult financial situation. The structure of this sport as it currently stands is not sustainable for the teams. It HAS to change. A few bankers enjoy the lions share of the revenue the sport generates and the teams fight for the crumbles, when it really should be the other way around. The teams build the cars, hire the drivers, go compete, they put on the show, why aren’t they getting properly rewarded? Not to mention race promoters all over the world getting squeezed every last penny for the benefit of FOM. It is unacceptable, something has got to give, for the good of the sport we all love.

    1. Surprise! I totally agree, wake up F1 fans, add you voice to the call for a fairer distribution of revenue, CVC want to sell (for a massive profit) they are susceptible to public opinion and potential investors need to know that the whole house of cards could collapse very soon.

  15. What a stupid, greedy, spoilt little sport this is. Quick trek from poverty stricken India over to cash-flush middle-east and suddenly nobody has enough money any more. I might start following cricket instead.

    1. It’s the same on every level of wealth the scale is just different. When i choose to buy another smartphone when the last one is fully working and just half a year old i am greedy and a materialist. It’s no different than a oil billionaire buying ten Ferraris, just the scale of spending changes. Even a poor person can be a materialist, this world presses everybody to be one. The blame for poverty can be found in every each of us. We can’t cure poverty, but we can deepen it.

  16. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    2nd November 2013, 0:22

    On the one hand I can totally see Kimi’s point of view. It’s his job, and he isn’t (currently) being paid to do it. Why should he continue if he’s not going to be paid? You wouldn’t show up to your job if you weren’t getting paid (unless you love volunteering).

    On the other hand, I’m sure Kimi has enough pennies in his piggy bank to live off comfortably for the rest of his life, and being paid on time may not play such a large role considering how much money he’s already got.
    Should he not be racing for the love of racing? Or does he only love racing if it means he gets a very handsome check in the mail on Monday morning?

  17. I think Kimi would have kept quiet was it not for the incident in India. When aren’t getting paid, you need senior management to scream at you.

    F1 needs a change the situation is becoming unattainable.

  18. Even worse: if he goes to the repo man he’ll end up with a E21 to sell.

  19. Well, he probably should attend Brazil especially, since they are testing the 2014 tyres. After all, it will probably help him next season.

    1. Good point!

    2. Yeah, but in Ferrari.
      They should swap Kimi with Massa starting… one month ago? when my crazy idea first published.

  20. Anele (@anele-mbethe)
    2nd November 2013, 6:29

    think you forgot to add rant over. Totally unwarranted and senseless bashing of kimi

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