Raikkonen to miss final two races

2013 F1 season

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Kimi 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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Image © Lotus/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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206 comments on “Raikkonen to miss final two races”

  1. I hope this is an opportunity to give Davide Valsecchi a try out. Otherwise what is the point in having a reserve driver who doesn’t ever get called up to race?

    1. Yes, I understand he will most likely be doing those races.

      1. Hi,
        Am I the only one rooting for D’Ambrosio? I think he did a decent job last year at Monza considering he had no KERS for most of the race, and he’s also a clean racer.
        Anyway, the logical choice is the reserve driver, but he has much less expericence in F1 than D’Ambrosio and if Lotus want to keep their 3rd place, shouldn’t they go for that less risky option?
        Ok that’s wishful thinking, but who knows? ;-)

        1. Well if I rememer correctly D’Ambrosio didn´t surprise anyone last year when he took over for Grosjean…

          1. In fact he was last of the finishers apart from the Caterham, Marrusia and HRT cars, finishing in 13th place.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            10th November 2013, 18:34

            @wpinrui He matched his best finish of his career in that race.

          3. Yeah, with no KERS for the whole race! 1/2 second per lap gone instantly, he would have been in the points without it most likely…

          4. Thanks Jack, that’s exactly what I meant: he arrived 75 seconds after winner Hamilton so taking into account he had no KERS (as you say about 0,5 sec per lap) and considering his lack of mileage in the Lotus, all in all that was a decent – not blistering – performance.
            Anyway, let’s wait and see.

        2. Am I the only one rooting for D’Ambrosio?

          Yes, you are the only one.

          1. No, he isn’t.

      2. I think that Jerome D’Ambrosio would be great! His race in Italy last year was pretty solid, for not having much experience in an F1 car.

      3. Anyone else hoping for a Marcus Winklehock type situation at Austin?

    2. I personally think Lotus should give a drive to Kobayashi, I understand he is not a test driver but he is one you can rely on to score the points to possibly claim 3rd or even 2nd in the champioonship

      1. Kobi drives sports cars for Ferrari. They’d never let him drive the Lotus at this point in the season.

    3. What if none of them could be paid to drive? Will they drive for free? :P

      1. I expect they would!!

      2. Valsecchi said as much when it emerged Kimi hadn’t been paid.

    4. I bet Davide will get the nod.. But if I am looking around and thinking out loud.. I see 2 outside options.. Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen. That last one is known at the team. Would be safer options imo.

    5. Yes but sometimes they do end up picking up quick bucks.

      1. You never know, with Kimi out of the way ‘the fastest driver in F1’, Hamilton, might actually finish higher than 4th in the WDC!! haha

        Although at this rate I can see Webber and Rosberg overtaking him – 4th or 5th again – truly the best driver in F1!


        1. ‘Best’ is not the same as ‘fastest’.

          For example, Alonso is noted as one of the ‘best’, but he is not the fastest as demostrated by his rubbish qualifying, even being outdone by Massa. Similarly Hamilton is one of the ‘fastest’ as shown by his qualifying skill but he is not the best as he destroys his tyres and usually drops down the order once the race has started.

  2. Hm, so Kimi did bin it intentionally then in AbuDhabi?

    Nice way to earn his salary up front for Ferrari.

    1. So you actually think Raikkonen turned up for Sunday, he participated in the meetings, planned out the strategy and all the rubbish stuff that would’t be neccessary in the first place if he was to bin it, and then understeered into the Caterham?
      Your logic is special.

      1. First of all, its just a thought that does cross the mind. Am I convinced it happened? How would you know @endel?
        On the other hand, its possible it was that way. Kimi has a contract with Lotus, and this is an elegant way to oblige to his contract while at the same time making sure that Lotus does not get any benefit out of it. Nothing strange in the logic of it really.
        Quite another question is, how realistic is it to have happened that way. All we know is that the people who wanted to buy a part of Lotus have confirmed that they did meet with Kimi and promised to pay the oustanding money. We do not know what was exactly agreed, nor do we know how satisfied Kimi was with the deal or indeed with how the team operates (the heated emotions etc.)

        1. Uhmmm… As long as Lotus isnt holding out their part of their contract, why should Raikkonen? Apart from the last 17 races?

          1. Because in the world of contracts, one party not honoring the complete deal does not automatically mean the whole contract is void @austus

      2. Another possible background is, that this was even agreed upon with Lotus @endel, and they are getting another couple of millions from Valsecchi’s backers to be actually able to pay Kimi. What do we know.

        1. Raikoonen is a true racer…is not a puppy.

          1. please tell – what does that even mean?

    2. Must be fun making up stuff on the internet. What do we know

      1. I don’t think he was making anything up. Merely pointing out some, IMO, interesting possibilities.

        I hadn’t considered that DV’s backers could have come up with some money. The chance of him getting the seat was miniscule, any opportunity to have a crack at it would be irresistible. Personally I think if he doesn’t land it for next year, he’s on the bench for life.

      2. Everything on the internet is 100% true.

        – Abraham Lincoln

        1. @poul that made me laugh ;)

          1. Loooooooooool

    3. Seems incredibly unlikely.

  3. This is massive for Formula 1.

    OK, that is perhaps being slightly melodramatic but this nails Lotus in fourth place in the WCC, because even if it turns out that likely replacement Davide Valsecchi is any good, he’s only had a handful of laps in the car and he’s never driven either of the coming racetracks. It’s a shame really, because Lotus a) thoroughly 2nd in the WCC because, as AUTOSPORT has often term it, they are “Pound-for-pound F1′s best team”, and b) they needed it badly to cover their finances. With Ferrari clearly unable to catch Mercedes, it is ironic in that Raikkonen has done Ferrari a huge favour by taking the pressure off of them from behind, because it looked almost certain that they’d fall to a distant fourth in the standings. However without Raikkonen that’ll likely not be the case. It’s also a shame in that the F1 career of Valsecchi, a driver I have always seemed alone in having the utmost faith in, will be judged on the inevitable toils of a driver ill-prepared. However, if he does do a decent job, it might help him get a look in a the Caterham drive that I’ve been linking him with for the past twelve months. For me, a Pic/Valsecchi line-up would be rather strong…oh, and er, get well soon Kimi…

    1. p.s. What was with the delay, Keith? This was confirmed at about 7am.

      1. It’s breaking news on a Sunday morning. Journos and bloggers are sleeping or hungover.

        1. Keith has done a brilliant job with this site, so I think it isn’t at all fair to make such an assessment on why he posted this news here “late”.

          1. @toiago – I’m not being critical, it’s a genuine question. Generally when Keith doesn’t post something it’s from an unverified source, or just sheer speculation dressed up in the frills of confirmation – see BBC Sport for examples.

          2. @william-brierty – Sorry, my comment was aimed at @spawinte‘s, not yours!

      2. Re: delay, we should note that this story’s source is the Lotus F1 team, while earlier stories sourced Steve Robertson.

      3. I let @keithcollantine know at about 4AM GMT-5 via Twitter after Steve Robertson lmk…

      4. Everybody: Leave Keith alone.He knows what he’s doing.

  4. I think Eric Boullier is gonna go for a cry now :-)

  5. @keithcollantine

    i think it should be first corner in para 3 not first.

  6. If the insurance doesn’t cover the surgery, does Kimi have enough money to pay for it? :D

  7. Hmmm, this seems like a pretty legitimate way of getting out of having to race in the final two races without actually violating any contract he may have with Lotus. Pretty crafty. Looking forwards to see what Valsecchi can do in a Lotus!

    1. indeed it does, yeah.

    2. Yep, I’m a bit disappointed by the attitude of Raikkonen on this, but I’ve also experienced back pain myself due tu my former job, I fully understand the need for care.

      It puts Lotus in an awkward situation but health prevails.

      1. Maybe the call came from maranello. Alonso is currently still not fit to race. So, if I were Ferrari, I would call Räikkönen and say: ‘do it now, we must be (extra) sure you’re in good health.

      2. @jeff1s They putted himself in this situation. All of this started from the disrespectfull message from Permane. If that didn’t happend, then Raikkonen will still race without his money. The surgery, is a good way to not break your contract. So, the only bad person here is Permane. If I were Lotus I’ll suit him. Sorry, for my english.

        1. Yet, Lotus have already broken the contract by not paying Kimi the amount that is owed, therefore Kimi is breaking an already broken contract… and ultimately not breaking any contract

      3. Odd that some would criticize Kimi’s “attitude”. The guy hasn’t been PAID! He was going to sit out the rest of the season five races ago! Lotus have really treated him shabbily since he signed on with Ferrari, anyway. As for Vettel and RBR, I still maintain that Adrian Newey should be the one on the podium! Lol! There’s no way, in this day and age of F1 racing, that Vettel’s car has a 2.5sec/lap advantage over even Webber in the “same” car!

    3. So video footage at Abu Dhabi of Kimi walking towards the SUV and going away from the race track is the last we will see him in the Lotus Overalls.

      All said and done there is a lots more than what meets the eye. There seems to be quite of bit of stuff happening in the background which will slowly trickle out in the due course of time.

  8. I would like if they did a sort of showdown between Maldonado and Hülkenberg, but that’s fanciful beyond belief ;)

    1. @vettel1

      if they want to try pastor nd hulk for a race each, hulk will definitely beat pastor by miles if he dives at Interlagos and pastor at COTA

    2. @vettel1 – What would be the point? I think we know who would win that! And anyway, it wouldn’t change the fact that they’ll need Maldonado’s PDVSA money in the now unlikely chance of the Quantum deal falling through.

      1. @william-brierty you never know, it might knock sense into them that one driver is just so much better than the other that unless the literally need the money to survive, Hülkenberg would be a better bet ;)

        Again, highly unlikely that would ever happen though.

        1. Hulk is currently doing a good job but that doesnt mean he will do better then maldonado at lotus. When maldonado has had a good car he has been fast dont forget, he excels when he has a fast car.

          1. And Hulkenberg doesn’t? Anyone who tries to make out that Nico Hulkenberg is anything less than a young sensation should be treated with as much contempt as those who don’t think Alonso is anything special. Foolishness – it must be suppressed!

          2. wait, who’s the proven winner? Hulk or Maldonado. ya. I rest my case.

          3. @joepa Wait, who’s the one that failed to score a point for over ten races after getting a sole good result, and who’s the one who spent 2012 crashing into Hamilton, Perez, Glock, a wall in Melbourne…? Hulkenberg or Maldonado. Yeah. I rest my case.

    3. A showdown is indeed fanciful.

      But Hulkenberg is free to race. Who else is there with 2013 experience? And who else is in the top 3 of Lotus’ wishlist?
      No brainer to me.

      1. That assumes that the contract between Hulkenberg and Sauber is no longer in force, and there is some ambiguity over that at the moment.
        If his contract with Sauber still stands, and given that Toro Rosso are not that far behind Sauber in the WCC (13 points apart with two races to go), it is plausible that Sauber might be banking on Hulkenberg to keep them ahead of Toro Rosso and therefore refuse to let him go.

        1. There is that strange “The team will make an announcement about the replacement driver for the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix in due course” statement from Lotus though. Why would they need to take their time over announcing their nominated reserve driver as a replacement if they weren’t trying to put in an alternative?

          1. The reserve driver is someone you have with you in case last minute you need a driver..
            Now you have more options..

  9. @Kimi, Austria is a good place to get well soon if you dont start skiing. ;-)
    @Lotus: give Valsecchi a chance. GRO and VAL can make it to 2nd in WCC!

    1. @rudi I don’t think Valsecchi’s that good..couple that with the fact he hasn’t raced for over a year now..

      1. @wsrgo – But couple that with the fact that he’s been very impressive in all the tests he’s taken part in, and you could end up with some perfectly decent performances and potentially the roots of a 2014 drive…at Caterham maybe.

        1. @william-brierty quite possibly so, yes. But he’ll need to work harder for a 2014 driver than he did for one after his GP2 triumph, when he seemingly went into hibernation, probably expecting a call-up of some kind, which never came.

          1. @wsrgo – What did you want him to do in 2012? March around the paddock with a flag that said, “I am the GP2 champion, please hire me F1 teams!”? Due to the fact that all the seats had been taken up by less talented members of the 2012 GP2 field, he had nowhere to go, and ending up as a reserve for a top team with frankly as good as he could’ve hoped for.

          2. @william-brierty

            What did you want him to do in 2012? March around the paddock with a flag that said, “I am the GP2 champion, please hire me F1 teams!”?

            Well, that’s what the current situation demands.

          3. @wsrgo – I bow to your incredible knowledge of racing driver management, but I’m sure Valsecchi’s manager knew what he was doing.

          4. @william-brierty Seriously, there’s no need to become so hostile here..

          5. @wsrgo (adopts shocked face)

            What was hostile about that? The fact that I don’t think you are an expert on racing driver management or the fact that I think Valsecchi’s manager probably knows what he’s doing thus going against your previous remark? The fact that my comment disagreed with yours does not make it hostile.

    2. Maybe Heikki Kovalainen? Has experience in racing, current tyres, upcoming tracks, team etc. Also has done practice runs whit caterham so he is not completely rusty and i believe he could do some mature racing for the team.

  10. 2 drivers with lumbago driving the Prancing Horse next year..
    okay, I know it’s not lumbago, but still…

    1. At least it’s not lupus!

      Alonso did alright considering his condition in 2011, Raikkonen has been having these issues for a while now, so I don’t expect too much problems.

      1. At least it’s not lupus!

        It’s never Lupus.

        1. @bendana @npf1 Gregory House is in :D

    2. They will both get handicap parking space next year.

    3. Considering that Lotus paid Kubica’s salary for the whole season after he injured himself outside of F1. A huge amount of money they sorely miss at the moment and he couldn’t even be bothered to answer the phone to them. I seriously doubt he’s welcome to darken their doorstep again.

      1. he couldn’t even be bothered to answer the phone to them. I seriously doubt he’s welcome to darken their doorstep again.

        Your source for this is…?

        Please stop spreading falsehoods and innuendo just b/c you don’t like Polish GP winners.

  11. It would be great if they gave Robert Kubica a chance for a come-back… Even if they had to make the car wider, even if it would not be “as fast as the slimmer one”… it would be a symbolic replacement. :)

    1. I would rather see what kubica can do in wales rally gb in his first outing in a wrc car next weekend!

    2. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see kubica back in f1, but do u realise how much time and money a new chassis is? Besides that, the chassis has to be built to strict regulations meaning it would never happen

      1. Kubica is done. He wont get the movement in the arm and wrist to ever make it back. Its sad, but true. He is finished. He will be a WRC champion.

    3. Making the car wider would require a whole new tub, and a whole set of crash tests to boot. Pity really :-(

    4. Kubica is a star driver, but his condition is still not ready for f1. He makes his wrc debut next week after winning wrc2 title. He has done simulator work for mercedes f1 this year, and will probably get a test if his hand is good enough. But f1, if ever, looks the nearest in 2015, its a very slow rehab. Its great f1 remembers him and he.is still only 28. Im.enjoying him stick it to seasoned rally drivers by wiining 5 wrc2 rallys out of 7 attempts this year amd leading a few ERC rallys

    5. Considering that Lotus paid Kubica’s salary for the whole season after he injured himself outside of F1. A huge amount of money they sorely miss at the moment and he couldn’t even be bothered to answer the phone to them. I seriously doubt he’s welcome to darken their doorstep again.

      1. You’ve posted this garbage twice now – any proof to back it up?

        1. It’s not garbage thanks.

          I know people that work at Enstone.

          1. I know people that work at Enstone.

            I could equally claim I know people in Brackley. Doesn’t make it true.

          2. The fact that you could make a false claim doesn’t make me a liar either.
            Funnily enough I know somebody that works at Brackley also, but I wouldn’t call him a friend. I know him through a hobby and would talk to him when we bump into each other, I don’t have his phone number or anything like that.

          3. @raceprouk take a look at this link. Photo taken at the factory a few years ago, person on the left is my girlfriend, person on the right is my sister. Hopefully you’ll be able to tell me who the person in the middle is.
            As for proving they are my sister and girlfriend, well that’s going to be tricky as they aren’t famous I guess, and I’ve already given this more attention than it deserves.
            You will see though that the poster of this picture on twitter follows me on twitter, my “@ username” is the same on twitter as it is on F!Fanatic.

        2. oh, and the other post went in the wrong place, my fault but I’m only human. I’ve tried to delete it but for some reason it’s still there.

      2. If that is true.. wouldn’t an insurance be paying that?

    6. I am afraid that will never happen. Robert Kubica has been ruled out of F1. This may sound preposterous, but F1 has not really missed Kubica has it?

  12. just as one might have thought the 2013 season could not get any worse…

  13. So low Kimi, so low :(

  14. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    10th November 2013, 13:27

    I know I’m supposed to be bothered by this but I’m not. Yeah, he should have been paid but I find it hard to get that worked up about a multi millionaire who has just landed another massive Ferrari deal. It’s a shame that he’ll miss a couple of races but hopefully Davide will get a go which will be interesting to watch. Hope his back op goes smoothly too.

  15. Fair enough…. He´s not getting paid so F them! Before anybody jumps the “he should behave like a professional” wagon for me saying that… It works both ways…
    I wonder if Romain is getting paid. He must be since he´s got a big smile all the time.

    1. Romain will be paid bt Total

  16. 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).

    1. Massa injury was serious one its nothing short of a miracle that he had made it back into F1,but i guess kimi injury is not that bad.If he had been paid by lotus and hasn’t been bad mouthed by permane he would be definitely driving for lotus in last two races

    2. Definitely quirky but fun stat nonetheless!

  17. 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.

    1. Agreed…well said.

    2. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

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

    2. @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.

      1. @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.

        1. 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.

        2. @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.

    3. 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.

      1. Probably a breach of contract with Ferrari (oh, the irony)

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

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

      2. @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.

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

    1. 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…

    2. 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

    3. @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.

    4. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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

    1. vodka maranellon?

  23. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. @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.

      1. @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.

  24. 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 !!!!

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

    1. *that would be “Frijns”.

    2. Sub zero, but in this universe that would be near impossible.

      If Hulkenberg does get the seat though, that might mean that Sauber will need to have an awkward phone call with Frijns to get a reserve driver for the final 2 GP!

      1. @infinitygc – That would be good for Frijns as well, given Sauber’s current form. But honestly I think they are more likely to ask Ferrari for De La Rosa’s services if Hulkenberg jumps ship. It would be much less of a hassle than bringing Frijns in.

        1. now that’s a switcheroo – Sauber to Lotus, Lotus to Ferrari, Ferrari to Sauber.

        2. I don’t know, Frijns at least has some mileage in the Sauber…

  26. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

      1. 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.

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

    Hülkenberg 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
    Hülkenberg = sensible choice

    1. Good point about fitness – it’s a hot, fast and anti-clockwise finish to the season.

      Lotus also have Nico Prost, but he’s just a donut driver – I don’t think he’s ever driven a current car.

      1. @tomsk, haha I had a good laugh about the donut driver remark but in all seriousness, Nicolas Prost has driven this years car during the YDT at silverstone together with Valsecchi

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

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

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

          1. 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.

  29. 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….

    1. @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.

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

  31. 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…..

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

    1. I heard that Valsecchi will replace Raikkonen. I think it´s very difficult for Hulk to change to Lotus. Where did you hear that?

    2. Are you talking about the US race, or next season, or both?

    3. Lewisham Milton
      10th November 2013, 18:06

      Is this source inside or outside your head?

      1. This is the best comment I have ever read on this site.

      2. Outside. I don’t believe it, it’s just what I’ve heard

  33. So, three-weeks on the lash then.

    1. Well it’s nearly 3 months ’till the first winter test lol.

    2. Haha, nice one

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

    1. Lotus + Damp track = disaster

      1. Dump Team + Damp Track = Dat Race.

  35. Michael Schumacher.

      1. Imagine stig doing interviews.
        Would he wear team overalls?:)
        Some say he would not talk on team radio:)

      2. Jesus.

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

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

    1. Yeah, it will be a tough choice next weekend between Chilton and Kimi

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

  39. 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.

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

        2. 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.

  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.

    1. Hekoheko…
      You’ll just wait’n see.
      Every F1 driver has a back pain (disorder in spinal column). It’s ’cause G-forces and no dampening material between kerbs and the drivers back. Only the molded fibrecarbon layer between asphald and the butt. Some wood in between…

    2. Wow, finally some effort from Ferrari!

  41. To my mind, this sounds like the Quantum deal is falling through. In front of their home race, Quantum was all “our side of the deal is done”, and “we will pay Kimi’s salary”, and “we will clear the team’s debt.” Eric Bouillier said he hoped to confirm the deal on Tuesday, but we haven’t heard anything yet. In the meantime, it looks as if Kimi has lost faith and decided to focus on 2014. If he really believed he would get 12 million euros (or whatever he is owed) by driving the final two races, I am sure he would have.

    As for the final two races, I’m really looking forward to seeing a different (maybe even new) driver in the second Lotus, whoever they field. It’s an interesting new twist in an F1 season that can use some spicing up.

  42. Maybe Lotus could get some last minute US Companies to invest if they sign Alex Rossi.
    He has talent. He might not be the best choice for finishing the last two races ahead of Mercedes and Ferrari, or has the experience of Hulkenberg, but having an American racing the whole Weekend in Austin could bring in some last minute investment and help them get the money needed.

    1. And sell Grosjean to McLaren take Maldos money to keep the team going while they look for another buyer. Sad, the state of F1.

  43. Kimi has the right to say that he gets to sit out the US and Brazil, A. He wasn’t paid the whole year, so basically did it as a volenteer, B. He did a fantastic job both last year and this year, you would’ve thought that Schumacher would’ve been a front runner, but no. He retired something like 6 or 7 races. And Kimi was third last year in his first F1 season after 5 or so years away, so I think he has the right to heal himself for the job of going to Ferrari. So Lotus have nothing to complain about, if it weren’t for Romain and Kimi being so competitive in a car that isn’t like the Ferrari and the Red Bulls and even the Mercs, they’d just be another backmarker team

  44. Robert Wickens

  45. … bring back Mansell… you know he thinks he can still do it… ;0)

  46. This must be another Kimi-joke. Best EVER !

  47. Davide Valesschi should race this weekend and Jerome D’Ambrosio the weekend after to give each other a drive. In the meantime Fernando Alonso may miss this weekends GP as well. Ferrari’s preferred option is Jules Bianchi or Pedro de la Rosa if Jules does go to Ferrari what will replace him? Maybe Pedro should have a turn in a Marrussia

  48. So why do sponsors sponsor second rate drivers??

  49. Spare a thought for Ferrari – they just signed Raikkonen, and now he’s going to start the 2014 season with questions lingering over his health. Back injuries can plague sufferers for months or years after their initial recovery, even with a full physiotherapy program. If it’s serious enough that he needs surgery to relieve the pain, then I doubt that the decision to step aside for the final two races was taken voluntarily. There’s a real chance that Raikkonen is not just out for the season, but out for good.

    Right now, Ferrari need to be looking at alternative drivers. That might sound a little cold, but the last thing they want is to bank on Raikkonen making a full recovery, and then finding out that he cannot race and being forced to pick the best of a bad bunch for the second seat.

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