Lotus say a broken part was to blame for Kimi Raikkonen’s car failing a post-qualifying inspection which caused him to be sent to the back of the grid.
The team said a part intended to prevent the floor from moving failed when he went off the track at turn three during qualifying.
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier accepted the ruling from the stewards, who excluded Raikkonen from qualifying.
?óÔé¼?ôThe team respects the stewards’ decision and will do everything in its power to ensure Kimi and the team gets the best result possible after starting from the back of the grid in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” said Boullier.
“No advantage was sought or gained in the incident and the relevant part has been replaced,” he added.
One of Lotus’s car’s failed the same test after qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. On that occasion the driver Romain Grosjean, was not given a penalty as the stewards accepted Lotus’s explanation the damage had been caused accidentally.
The setback comes on a tense weekend for the team after Raikkonen refused to turn up at the track for media engagements on Thursday. He later revealed he has not been paid by Lotus all year and has warned he may miss the final two races of the season if Lotus don’t meet their obligations to him.
Raikkonen will start Sunday’s race from the back of the field: “We?óÔé¼Ôäóve seen what Kimi can do to work through the field when he needs to and we are going all out for the strongest result possible,” Boullier said.
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Image ?é?® Lotus/LAT