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Kimi's out to cost Lotus millions

2013-11-11 09:44

SURGERY CAN’T WAIT: Kimi Raikkonen will skip the final races of the 2013 season as he has surgery to his spine.Image: AP

Kimi Raikkonen's manager said surgery was needed now as he was 'in severe pain’. An F1 writer asks why Lotus didn't delay its race preview if surgery was imminent.

In November 2013 Raikkonen announced he was planning to sit out the final two grands prix of his Lotus career.

'COMPLETELY ONSIDE'


On November 11 the team released its official preview of the 2013 US GP in which it appeared Raikkonen’s tense relationship with Lotus had eased. Team boss Eric Boullier said: "He is completely on-side."

Raikkonen was quoted as saying he was "looking forward" to the race weekend.

Mere days later, Lotus was issuing a new statement, confirming Raikkonen would miss the US and Brazilian races due to back surgery.

Reuters correspondent Alan Baldwin commented on Twitter: "Was Kimi sitting comfortably for his seat fitting at Ferrari on Thursday, I wonder? You'd think Lotus might have delayed issuing their race preview on Friday if there was an imminent risk of surgery.”

Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson said the surgery had to happen as Raikkonen was "in severe pain".

Raikkonen was in Maranello on November 7 where he met Ferrari bosses Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali.

Former F1 driver Mika Salo backed Raikkonen's decision to sit out Austin and Brazil to have back surgery. "It has been a problem for Kimi for a long time," he pointed out. "He was going to have it done in the winter anyway so when thinking about all that has happened with Lotus - the wages, the deteriorating atmosphere - I think this is the right decision.
 
"It will give him more time to recover before the tests start in January 2014."

LOTUS TO LOSE OUT

Raikkonen's management said the driver would need four weeks to recover, which suggested the surgery could have been done after the season finale later in November 2013.

His absence will a severe blow to financially  struggling Lotus, which was hoping to improve on fourth in the lucrative Constructors' championship.V3 commentator Oskari Saari said: "This surgery may cost Lotus millions. There is a big (financial) difference between second and fourth."

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