Friday, 1 November 2013

Lotus-Raikkonen relationship set for early end?

Kimi Raikkonen is said to be considering sitting out of the final two races of the season due to a dispute with his employers.

Lotus have reportedly failed to pay Raikkonen so far this year, with the 2007 champion telling reporters in Abu Dhabi that "I haven’t been paid a single Euro this year".

This comes after a radio row at the previous round in India where Lotus' track side operations manager told Raikkonen to "get out the f****** way" as team mate Romain Grosjean closed in. 

Raikkonen responded with equally colourful language, prompting a public apology from team principle Eric Boullier.

The Iceman was a notable absentee from the paddock on Thursday as the rest of the drivers and teams fulfilled their media obligations. The 2007 champion however denied there was a link to what happened in India and his late arrival. "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."

Whether or not Raikkonen will sit out of the United Stand and Brazillian Grands Prix is yet to be determined. Should it happen, reserve driver Davide Valsecchi is expected to stand in. The Italian, who won the 2012 GP2 Championship, already filled in for Raikkonen in pre-season testing after he became ill. 

Raikkonen will return to Ferrari for the 2014 season. He won the 2007 championship whilst driving for the Italian outfit but left two years later to make way for Fernando Alonso.

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