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

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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”

  1. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st November 2013, 21:57

    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.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 2nd November 2013, 0:03

      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.

    • Angelia (@angelia) said on 2nd November 2013, 1:07

      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.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 2nd November 2013, 2:51

      @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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

    • Merv (@) said on 1st November 2013, 23:32

      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.

  3. 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.

  4. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 1st November 2013, 22:19

    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.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st November 2013, 22:32

      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.

  5. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 1st November 2013, 23:58

    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.

    • Sammo said on 2nd November 2013, 4:38

      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.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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?

  7. Angelia (@angelia) said on 2nd November 2013, 1:22

    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.

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

  9. Ivan (@wpinrui) said on 2nd November 2013, 4:10

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

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

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

  11. Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 2nd November 2013, 6:39

    this was meant to be a reply to another comment. deleting didn’t work

  12. vjanik said on 2nd November 2013, 7:18

    This is a chance for Lotus to put the Hulk in their car for the last two races and see how good he is. I think he could score some good points and could help him secure the drive. Or they could put the Hulk for the US GP and Pastor for the Brazil GP and see whats what.

    • Sammo said on 2nd November 2013, 7:36

      I might be a bit of serious minded here, but the problem would be to get the car setup for Nico or Pastor, i don’t think three practice sessions is enough. Sauber and Williams might have a saying in this also :)

  13. Jeppis said on 2nd November 2013, 8:55

    I think that all of you readers know how much work the job these guys do includes. Imagine training you a** off and flying all over the world for 8 months in a row (with your own expense in this particular scenario).
    Winning with a broken back in Singapore, putting the car in positions that it didn’t deserve in many occasions, etc. I bet that every single human being in this world would do the same thing that Kimi is doing/thinking of doing at this point. It’s not that Kimi needs the money, when you make a contract with somebody, both sides should stick to it.

  14. Hey @keithcollantine, could you explain what is a “winding up order“? As in:

    It emerged over a weekend of febrile speculation in Abu Dhabi that Raikkonen had last week threatened Lotus with a winding-up order. Now, though, sources say that a deal has been agreed and the problem is sorted out.

    Thanks.

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