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. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 !!!!

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

  6. 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.

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

    In all seriousness, there are only two options for Lotus, HĂĽlkenberg 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.

    HĂĽlkenberg 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
    HĂĽlkenberg = sensible choice

  8. 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.

        • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 10th November 2013, 18:47

          and apparently I stopped reading your comment after the first sentence! Just noticed that you already said the same as me…. @jlracing

          • Julien (@jlracing) said on 10th November 2013, 22:49

            I’m sorry @mike-dee. English is not my native language. But I could have said it better. But I just wanted to say that it was a good stat you came up with. And I just wanted to add some information.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. svianna (@svianna) said on 10th November 2013, 16:35

    Bernie paid Kimi to make the announcement now. So, it diverts the attention from his trial, which is not looking good for him, at the moment.

    Now, that is a conspiracy theory deserving attention. What a tangled web we weave…..

  12. Strontium (@strontium) said on 10th November 2013, 17:03

    I’ve just heard that Hulkenberg is going to be replacing Kimi. Not sure how reliable the source is though

  13. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 10th November 2013, 17:25

    So, three-weeks on the lash then.

  14. Interlagos + Damp track + Hulkenberg + Lotus = Exciting finish to 2013….we can dream, right?

  15. zomtec (@zomtec) said on 10th November 2013, 17:49

    Michael Schumacher.

  16. RetardedF1sh (@retardedf1sh) said on 10th November 2013, 18:16

    I heard that Taki Inoue will drive for Lotus.Just a rumour though.

  17. People will still vote Kimi as Driver of the weekend.

  18. Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 10th November 2013, 18:34

    Sad end to his brilliant lotus stint. but more interested in who will take his place

  19. I am sorry but 5 seasons of GP2 is not impressive; I dont rate Davide very highly(because he spent 5 seasons in GP2 to get a championship) but this is his shot. if he finishes top 5, he might make a believer out of me.

    • To expound, briefly; 5 seasons of GP2 to me sounds like an excess of cash rather than an excess of talent.

      • James (@speedking84) said on 10th November 2013, 20:42

        Didn’t it take van der Garde 4 seasons to get a highest position of 5th in GP2? van der Garde has impressed people in his first year, so I don’t see why you’re pre judging Valsecchi on how long it took him to win a GP2 championship. Jacques Villeneuve won a championship in his second year in F1 does that make him better than Vettel who took 4 years to win the championship.

        • van der Garde kept in contention for the title in 2011 for a long time and won the Formula Renault 3.5 title before, though. While I don’t think VDG has that much more talent than Davide, he isn’t exactly racing for Lotus either.

          • Its been along time since that WSR championship. I guess drivers dont have anything better to do than go around tracks in GP2 until they get an F1 drive after that – but 4 years in GP2 without finishing higher than 5th in the championship? ouch. Took 5 wins in 4 years.

        • I rate VDG very lowly, actually. I rate young drivers on how long it took them to get a podium, win a race, and win a championship in the lower formulae. VDG rates so low because he was what, 6th in GP2? A win or two, yeah. I dont know how who he has impressed; certainly not me. He whines on the radio alot, gets in some crashes, not sure why anyone rates him highly. He might be better than Pic, but then again so is half the GP2 field this year.

  20. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 10th November 2013, 19:40

    I thought we were going to witness the first season in which the same drivers have raced at every Grand Prix, but obviously not.

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