Lotus 'No!' to Kimi's rally hope
CAREER-ENDING CRASH: Kubica was driving this rally car when he hit a barrier that pierced the car. His injuries eventually put him out of racing for ever.
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Lotus has ruled out the idea of Kimi Raikkonen mixing F1 and rallying after speculation that he could enter the WRC Rally of Finland later in 2012.
The former Renault team lost Polish driver Robert Kubica to life-threatening injuries last year and team principal Eric Boullier made it clear on Thursday at the 2012 Monaco F! GP that Raikkonen could not be put at risk.
RACE IN BREAK
"Contractually, he cannot do it. End of story," he told Reuters. "Obviously there is a trauma here after 2011 but we can't allow any contract with the drivers... it's supposed to have a clause where they cannot take any risk because they are so valuable for the team.
"Rally, skiing, jumping are not allowed."
Kubica, a race-winner and rising star in F1 who was Renault's No.1 one driver, suffered severe leg and hand injuries when he crashed during a local rally in Italy in February 2011. He had a long series of operations to repair the huge damage to his body and has not raced since. His Renault contract is now over and he has largely disappeared from the public gaze.
Former Ferrari driver Raikkonen returned to F1 for the 2012 season with Lotus after two years competing in the World Rally championship for Citroen. The autosport.com website reported this week that he would be interested in competing in Finland in August, when F1 has a (northern) summer break.
"I'd like to do Rally Finland this season as it fits with the calendar but you'll have to ask the team if it fits in my contract," he was quoted as saying.
The Finn crashed and hurt a wrist while competing in a snowmobile race in Austria in December 2011 but Boullier said Lotus could not have prevented that.
"He started to race for us in 2012, not 2011, so he was under contract with another brand."
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