Raikkonen to miss final two races

2013 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013Kimi Raikkonen will not participate in the final tw rounds of this season, Lotus have confirmed.

Raikkonen will miss next week’s United States Grand Prix and the following race in Brazil. He will have an operation on a back injury ahead of his move to Ferrari next year.

“Lotus F1 Team can confirm that Kimi Raikkonen will miss the final two races of the 2013 Formula One season to undergo, and recover from, back surgery,” said the team in a statement.

“The team will make an announcement about the replacement driver for the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix in due course.”

This means Raikkonen’s appearance in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he retired following a collision at the first corner, was his last for Lotus.

The news is a blow to the team who are in competition with Ferrari for third place in the constructors’ championship. They are yet to announce who will replace Raikkonen for the balance of the season.

Raikkonen had been involved in a dispute with the team over his pay, telling reporters at the last race weekend he had not been paid by them all year.

He complained of back pains during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend where he took painkillers before participating in the race.

Coincidentally Raikkonen’s future Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso also suffered back pains after going off the track during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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206 comments on Raikkonen to miss final two races

  1. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 10th November 2013, 13:46

    Something quirky regarding Alonso’s team-mates since he won his titles:

    Hamilton in 2007
    Piquet in 2008-09
    Grosjean in 2009
    Massa in 2010-13
    and now Raikkonen in 2014

    none of whom competed in the race immediately prior to their first race as Alonso’s team-mate (Massa and Raikkonen due to injury, the others were rookies).

  2. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 10th November 2013, 13:51

    Can’t blame the guy for saying ‘enough is enough’. He’s had a contract that hasn’t been fulfilled even though he’s been keeping his side of the agreement. I think focusing on getting over his injury is also a very wise move, as he’ll be in the best possible shape to perform at Ferrari.

    • Robbie said on 10th November 2013, 15:34

      Agreed…well said.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 10th November 2013, 16:50

      Maybe this was discussed with Ferrari as well since he was just there getting fitted for his 2014 seat. I’m sure Ferrari dreads having both their drivers with potential back problems for next season. It does make a lot of sense to give a back surgery the maximum amount of time to heal before getting back into the very activity likely to aggravate it again. The startup for 2014 is not really that far away, especially in terms of recovery from a major surgery.

  3. Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 10th November 2013, 13:51

    maybe Gerard Lopez and Raikkonen had agree on salary-cut (or maybe not) with consequence that Raikkonen won’t drive in Austin and Interlagos. whatever then, I’m very disappointed with how this thing goes.
    in positive note, Kimi hopefully will be fresh over 2014.

  4. toiago (@toiago) said on 10th November 2013, 13:55

    Imagine that the Lotus team don’t even consider Valsechi for a drive. Who would realistically stand a chance of racing alongside Grosjean for the final two races?

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 10th November 2013, 14:39

      @toiago Hulkenberg. Technically he’s racing at Sauber without a contract.

    • @toiago

      Hulkenberg’s relationship with Sauber isn’t absolutely tip-top, let’s face it. If Lotus are on the verge of signing him, I wouldn’t be surprised if they give him a quick seat fitting and throw him in Raikkonen’s place from the get go. I’m not saying it’s the most probable scenario, but stranger things have happened… Other than Valsecchi and Hulkenberg, I don’t see many other options, really.

      They could reactivate an established driver. Barrichello must be sitting at home eagerly next to his phone right now, I’m sure, and he’s not the only one, but I don’t see the point of that. I find it hard to believe whoever it is they find available would be much faster than Valsecchi. Or they could put Nasr or someone else willing to pay for a seat in there. But I don’t see what good that will bring either. They’re still aiming for 3rd in the WCC afterall.

      They would have to be crazy to give D’Ambrosio another chance after Monza last year. Also it would be pointless to call up Heidfeld, Prost or some other Rebellion-linked driver in my opinion (not that Boullier wants to have anything to do with Heidfeld anymore).

      Realistically: I think it’s down to Hulkenberg and Valsecchi.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 10th November 2013, 17:01

        @tony031r – I think Hulkenberg would give Lotus the most solid chance at gaining points in the WCC. But, at what expense to Hulkenberg? If he already had a signed contract and payment assurances with Lotus for 2014, driving the final two races for them in 2013 might make sense. But, the deal with Quantum and Lotus, plus the potential contract with Hulkenberg are not done yet. Hulkenberg is perceived as the most talented young driver, but there is a question mark over his team switching frequency. He may be better served by staying at Sauber and honoring his end of the contract without question whether he is getting paid or not. As much as I would love to see Hulkenberg in the Lotus right now, it probably won’t happen.

        • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 10th November 2013, 18:22

          I could only see Hulkenberg racing for Lotus in the last 2 GPs if he’s got a Lotus contract for 2014. I think he will only sign that contract if Lotus have definitely received the money from Quantum. He’s probably Lotus’ best bet for WCC points compared to the other drivers potentially available. Even then: he’s never driven the current Lotus before, nor worked with the team, nor stated whether he has a preference for the SWB car that Lotus took the trouble to build for Kimi to smash into a Caterham.

        • @bullmello – Two things to be taken into consideration here.

          One – I completely agree, the only way Hulkenberg will race for Lotus in Austin and Interlagos is IF he has their signature on a contract for 2014 OR the contract is inches away from being signed, worst case scenario. Otherwise, I don’t think he’ll leave Sauber for just two races, especially now that they finally started to get some speed out of that car. Hulkenberg’s a smart guy, he won’t be bothered with it.

          On the other hand, his contract with Sauber is not in effect anymore, so he doesn’t own any kind of closue to the team. He can pretty much go whenever and wherever he pleases. If he thinks he could be able to impress more in that E21, then he might want to give it a try.

          Either way, I have a feeling whether we see Hulkenberg or Valsecchi in Raikkonen’s car next week is gonna be in a large proportion up to Hulkenberg.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 10th November 2013, 16:21

      De la Rosa? I know there’s a conflict of interest but he’s been called this year alone as possible replacement to both Sauber and Marussia. If I where Lotus I would seriously consider him.

    • faulty (@faulty) said on 10th November 2013, 16:48

      If I were in Lotus’ shoes I’d go for an experienced, available driver. Kovalainen, Kobayashi or Barrichello sound like sensible options. To me

      • Merv (@) said on 10th November 2013, 17:13

        To be fair, those names just sound like drivers that will get the car to the finish, just without many points.

      • @faulty – Kobayashi is under contract with Ferrari and AF Corse. The WEC season is not over yet so I doubt he’ll get permission to run back to F1 and help Lotus beat Ferrari to 3rd in the WCC. Especially since there’s virtually no chance he’ll be a contender for a permanent seat in 2014.

        Barrichello hasn’t touched a Formula 1 car in almost two seasons and he spent his last two seasons in the sport being a midfielder and backmarker, respectively. He’s also never raced in Austin. Sure, he’d be willing and able to drive, but I don’t see how he could be “points-scoring” fast.

  5. As a Kimi fan going to COTA I’m devastated.

    • As a Kimi fan, watching TV, I’m devasted too. I think I’ll miss these races too. Sorry for your money, bro…what a shame…

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 10th November 2013, 15:06

      Yeah, I’m feeling for you. Instead of wondering who would replace him me first reaction was: “ooh, I wouldn’t want to be a kimi fan heading to COTA or Brazil.”

      I hope you will still enjoy the race buddy even if your driver is a no show

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 10th November 2013, 16:26

      @theo-hrp Me too! I’m not a Kimi fan per se but I was very much looking forward to see him race, let’s hope his replacement is half as good as he is and give us a good show.

    • troublebot said on 12th November 2013, 2:56

      Taking my girlfriend to COTA for our first F1 race in person (we live in Fort Worth, TX). Kimi is her fave, I had to wake her up to tell her and was greeted by the saddest whimpering “Nooooooooooooooooooo” I’ve ever heard. I guess she’ll be sporting her Nico Rosberg hat to this race.

  6. i’ll be seriously disappointed if lotus don’t give valsecchi a drive now. he’s been with them for all the races this year, always “just” sitting there, not being able to race. he deserves a chance!

  7. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 10th November 2013, 14:05

    I just want to see the look on Eric Bouiller’s face, last year he was always bashing Ferrari for being very political unlike his team which suits Raikkonen very well blablabla….., now he lost both kimi and the fight for WCC to Ferrari!!!!!! , BTW i suspect that Kimi’s decision not to race in the final 2 races has something to do with his visit to Maranellon this week

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2013, 14:13

    It is safe to say that if Lotus is not willing to pay him while he’s threatening to stop racing in the last 2 races of the season, then it’s very unlikely that they will pay him after he goes to Ferrari. He will have to go to court and will need to spend millions trying to recoup that money.

    I wanted to see Hulkenberg go to Lotus but if he won’t get paid, then I don’t want him to race for them either.

    Lotus is going to end up with very few supporters next year and deservedly so.

    • I think Raikkonen and Lotus broked the good relantionship after Permane was rude to Raikkonen. Maybe to rude… They started so good the year. But, Lotus wanted all: few money, 2’nd in championships, promote Grosjean…and I think they had a chance to do that, BUT, they mistake when they were disrespectull with Raikkonen, the man who offered them these chances.

    • Merv (@) said on 10th November 2013, 17:16

      I don’t think Lotus went into this season with the intention of not paying people. Their situation is dire, extremely.

      I have a horrible feeling that a few more teams will not be worthy of your support within a couple of years. I hope I’m wrong/the situation gets resolved.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 11th November 2013, 7:04

      @freelittlebirds To be fair, if Kimi brought it to court, the judge can decide to order Lotus to pay for Kimi’s legal costs as well. I think this is a very open-and-shut case in Kimi’s favor anyhow.

      • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 11th November 2013, 14:41

        @journeyer correct, I’m not sure but in Europe I believe the winning party collects legal fees which doesn’t always happen in the US unless there’s fraud or egregious behavior. Plus legal fees in Europe must be lower.

        However, the real toll of any lawsuit is the time and energy it takes away from the victim who is always more invested than the culprit.

        I would imagine Ferrari will eventually offer to pay Kimi and let their legal team take it up directly with Lotus, at least that’s what I would do to allow Kimi to focus on his job instead next year.

  9. So 2 things come to my mind.

    1) (Conspiracy Theory !!!) Kimi meets the “Big LUCA” in Maranello and suddenly he decides to schedule the back surgery during the time of the last 2 race of the season !!!!!

    2) If Fernando misses out the US GP due to his bad back then both the Ferrari drivers of 2014 are not going to compete in USGP due to bad back !!!!

  10. In a parallel universe where Hulkenberg and Valsecchi don’t matter as replacements: how cool would it be if Lotus gave Frinjs a chance?

  11. Alonso took a pay cut to help Renault in difficult times in 09. He didnt act like a girl about it. He got on with it.

    Shame Kimi didnt offer the same.

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 10th November 2013, 15:11

      Yeah but he was actually getting paid at the tim, Kimi hasn’t seen a single Euro in 2013, major diffrence.

      You don’t expect any employee to keep working even if that employee is a ‘millionaire’.

      Shame on Lotus for luring him to stay in 2013 with an extra bonus per point knowing they had 120 miljon in debt. Let’s face it Lotus has had good cars because Allison is creative person, when it comes to management Genii has been a disaster, that’s what happens when a team is led by a consortium only interested in making money.

    • What do you even know about that? This may well be Kimi’s return offer for taking a much larger cut and in agreement with the team. Do you really find it girly to complete ~80% of your work for free before raising a concern? Would you have come to work for nine months of your work year for free just “to be man about it”? Yeah right!

    • PeterH (@peterh) said on 10th November 2013, 17:18

      That might have had something to do with that his manager Flavio Briatore was also the Renaults team principle. Renault had also given him the opportunity to win 2 WDC:s.

      AND Alonso free-willingly agreed to have a pay-cut. Lotus lured Kimi to stay in the team with empty promises.

    • Blackbox (@blackbox) said on 10th November 2013, 17:21

      How do he take a pay cut from zero euro he has received? Pay Lotus for the privilege to earn Lotus millions?

      With Raikkonen’s points Lotus has earned a lot of money. They should honour the contract. Genii management are surely getting paid.

      • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 10th November 2013, 18:08

        i wonder how that works legally, if kimi were to go to court. so, if lotus end up third, they’d be making a certain amount of money on the back of kimi’s efforts, all the while not paying him. shouldn’t at least a part of this amount go directly to the driver responsible for bringing the money in? it’s not like they are catherham – obviously they’ll receive the money from fia in the very least.

  12. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 10th November 2013, 15:21

    In all seriousness, there are only two options for Lotus, H├╝lkenberg and Valsecchi.

    Valsecchi has driven that car but that was one day more then half a year ago and he has no race rhythm but I have no doubt he is doing some intensive cardio at home right now preparing him for COTA.

    H├╝lkenberg doens’t know the car but has been racing all year long, and in F1 too (how handy!). He should be able to adopt to the Lotus pretty quick.

    Valsecchi = probable choice
    H├╝lkenberg = sensible choice

  13. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 10th November 2013, 15:26

    One statistic going down the drain: 2013 could have been the first season in F1 where the same drivers were entered for all races…

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 10th November 2013, 16:54

      That’s two consecutive years let down by the Lotus team in some way or another

    • Julien (@jlracing) said on 10th November 2013, 17:03

      Haha I found this stat a few days ago and I would like to add that stat in the stats report after the US Grand Prix. In 2008 there were also no driver changes during the season but Super Aguri disappeared after the Spanish Gp so not the same drivers were entered for all races. But now also this season there will be a driver change.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 10th November 2013, 18:44

        Haha I found this stat a few days ago

        That’s annoying to know that someone else noticed! I came up with it myself a few months ago (looking through all seasons manually…) but wanted to keep it secret until Brazil. :( @jlracing

        There was one other season (2008) where there were no other drivers than those that entered in the first race; however, the Super Aguri team withdrew after four races.

  14. With a risk of getting slightly into some conspiracy ideas I think it is obvious that there is something more to all this. The timing of the announcement after the visit to Maranello is almost too obvious so the big question is if there is any money involved. Considering the breach of contract by Lotus it is a complex situation but for Ferrari to actually buy Kimi out of the final two races for the rival would be unlawful although probably impossible to prove because it could be handled as an undisclosed addition to any bonus agreement.

    Some have stated that Ferrari must have paid off Lotus to get this deal settled but would they really need to? Kimi is under no obligation to race since the contract is already breached and considering that he was actually injured during work for which he was never paid, makes it impossible to blame him for making sure he is fit in time for the new and well-paying employer.

    It seems almost too obvious that Luca/Ferrari expressed concerns about the injury during the recent seat fitting. It is almost as obvious that Kimi is less inclined to fight for a team that has already written him off and seems to have completely changed attitude towards (against) him. The remaining question is really just how much convincing Ferrari had to do?

    We know that Kimi has been incredibly loyal to bring Lotus as high as they are without any pay all year. We also know his patience was running out and that he was considering not to race in the first place. What I can’t really figure out is how it will effect his chances of getting paid at all. It will obviously cost him some sort of pay cut and it seems hard to believe that Ferrari is not somehow going to cover that but isn’t it at least likely that there is some sort of agreement with Lotus in this? Had Kimi finished his obligations he could clearly demand his full payment as it is under contract and he has no doubt been a larger benefit to the team than the figure on that contract.

    My best guess is that he has brought the idea to the attention of Lotus in terms of agreement to take a fairly large pay cut and this is in some invisible way is to be covered by Ferrari. As dirty as it may seem I have previously stated that Lotus were scoring higher than what they could in reality afford by receiving premium driver and marketing services for zero dollars.

    An interesting twist to the idea that Lotus were going to hire Maldonado over Hulkenburg in which case Maldonado’s sponsors theoretically would be paying Kimi’s salary. However, the idea that Kimi would purposely have crashed out in Abu Dhabi is ludicrous i.m.o. and a bit too disrespectful to the ever loyal fellow that he is.

    Personally I basically find the season to be over at this point as there will be no more fights for even 2nd in either championship. I wonder how much the ratings will drop with no fight and no Kimi….

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th November 2013, 22:04

      @poul, 1 scenario that is a fairly normal (but still disgustingly imoral ) in business could be the new backers giving Kimi the choice of suing for his backpay or accepting a lesser amount as full settlement of the debt.

  15. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 10th November 2013, 15:51

    So that’s why he had such an early seat fitting. Hope he’ll be alright.

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