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Kimi: Off again, on again!

2013-11-03 19:16

TERRIBLE WEEKEND: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen retired from the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP after making contact with a Caterham driver during the first lap on Sunday. Image: AFP

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Ferrari-bound Finn Kimi Raikkonen departed early, with his immediate future reportedly settled, following a first lap crash which summed up his nightmare weekend at Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Raikkonen arrived late on Friday morning to drive for Lotus and was the first man to leave the Yas Marina track, climbing into his road car in the paddock as race victor and champion Sebastian Vettel made his first pit stop.


By then, according to paddock sources, he had agreed a provisional deal to continue racing for the Lotus team in the final events of 2013 in the United States and Brazil.

On Friday, he had made clear that he was contemplating boycotting the last two races because Lotus had not paid him any of his salary this year.

On Saturday, he was excluded from qualifying for a technical infringement and thus had to start Sunday's race from the back of the grid.

At Turn One, his race ended.

Raikkonen said: "I went to the inside and then somehow managed to touch with a Caterham... We didn't touch hard, but I think the angle was very unlucky and it broke the steering."

Raikkonen said little about reports that he had agreed with Lotus to continue racing to the end of the year despite claims that he has not been paid any of his R206-million salary for 2013.

Following a weekend of intense negotiations between Raikkonen's agent and Lotus owner Gerard Lopez, it was reported as having reached an agreement.

According to Autosport.com, a meeting between Lopez and Raikkonen's representative Steve Robertson reached an agreed framework for the final two events.

Lotus need him as the team is locked in a battle for second place with Mercedes and Ferrari.

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