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Raikkonen: Lack of payment forced me to leave Lotus

Sep 19, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that Lotus’ current financial situation was the determinant factor in his decision to leave the team at the end of 2013 in favor of a move back to Ferrari.

The Finn was announced by the Scuderia last week as completing their line-up for 2014, joining Fernando Alonso in Maranello. Reports had suggested that a lack of pay had helped Raikkonen make up his mind, but the 2007 world champion has finally confirmed this in Friday’s press conference for the Singapore Grand Prix.

“The reasons why I left from the team is purely on the money side,” Raikkonen said. “They haven’t got my salary so it’s an unfortunate thing but like I said, I want to try and help the team as much as I can and I like to race.”

Raikkonen joined Lotus in 2012 following a two-year break from Formula One, and his relationship with the team appeared to be at an all-time high following his victory at the Australian Grand Prix back in March. However, as the financial situation has worsened, Raikkonen has become increasingly dissatisfied, forcing the move to Ferrari.

The Finn had been angling a move to Red Bull as the retiring Mark Webber’s replacement, but the defending world champions instead opted for Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo.

All eyes will be on Ferrari in 2014 as two of the sport’s biggest names look for room to establish their dominance within the team, but both Raikkonen and Alonso will know that they must work together in order to win the constructors’ championship for the Scuderia next year.

  1. thenicklemansbrothera - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    That’s strange. Several weeks ago he said they were up to date on pay, Now he claims they weren’t. I think it more he wanted a big raise and it was not forthcoming from Lotus. Wonder what Frearri will pay him over the two years.

    • ditto65 - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Or he was waiting to see if Lotus could get their finances in order before jumping ship. Talking about not getting paid would have hindered gaining possible investors, so he kept his mouth shut.

      • apexassassin - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        Well said. I think it’s also great that he and Hulk are both driving without pay for sheer enjoyment of racing!

        Well that and not driving isn’t/wasn’t going to get them a new seat.

        Looking forward to “Loltus” sucking something fierce next season.

  2. thenicklemansbrothera - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    @Apexassassin. Kimi has said that they were up to date on his pay. What he is now refering to is what he wanted to get in the future. I am sure he got a big boost from Ferarri. Lotus was late in the last few payments for his podium finishes but they did eventually pay him. I don’t expect Lotus to do any worse than they did this year as they are in negogations with a couple of sponsers but haven’t signed because they are looking for a whale. Romain Grosjean has tested Kimi for the past few races and if it weren’t for the unfair ruling by stewards he would have had two podium finishes.

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