Skip to main content

Kimi Raikkonen threatens walkout as Lotus pay row rumbles on

updated 6:51 PM EDT, Fri November 1, 2013
Kimi Raikkonen is at odds with the Lotus team ahead of his move to Ferrari for the 2014 season.
Kimi Raikkonen is at odds with the Lotus team ahead of his move to Ferrari for the 2014 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kimi Raikkonen hints at Lotus walkout
  • Raikkonen unhappy about not being paid yet for 2013 season
  • Lotus fourth in constructors' championship heading into final three races
  • Sebastian Vettel fastest in practice at Yas Marinas

(CNN) -- The simmering row between departing Kimi Raikkonen and his Lotus team came to a boil Friday as the Finn threatened to boycott the final two races of the F1 season because he has not been paid.

Raikkonen turned up late for the Abu Dhabi round and took fourth behind all conquering Sebastian Vettel in afternoon practice.

But addressing gathered reporters at the end of session, the former world champion gave vent to his frustrations.

"I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having," said Raikkonen told UK's Press Association.

Will Ferrari's drivers deliver success?
Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen returns to Formula 1

"Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can."

But when pushed on the possibility of not taking part in the final races in the United States and Brazil, Raikkonen hinted at the possibility of a no show.

"I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving -- but a big part of it is business," he said.

"Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should, we end up in an unfortunate situation. You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that... it is not really my fault anymore."

Raikkonen is reported to be owed $20 million for his efforts in 2013, a situation which has arisen because of financial arrangement Lotus has with its majority owners, the Luxembourg based investment group Genii Capital.

Read: Lotus focus on the cars rather than pay its drivers

Under the arrangement, the drivers -- Raikkonen and Frenchman Romain Grosjean -- get their pay at the end of the season after sponsorship deals are tied up to cover the fees.

Raikkonen's frustrations with Lotus have built up over the season and he was involved in an angry and very public altercation with pit wall boss Alan Permane at the Indian Grand Prix last Sunday.

Team chairman Gerard Lopez has tried to cool the situation, praising Raikkonen for his efforts which leave them challenging for second place in the constructors' championship behind Red Bull.

"The only reason we're fighting for second in the world championship is because of all the points that Kimi has scored," he told the team's official website.

"We're doing everything we can to ensure Kimi and the team can continue to fight right up to the checkered flag in Brazil.

"Of course, recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship," he added.

Read: Vettel wraps up fourth straight title

Raikkonen told reporters that he regretted the incident, but said other factors had left him disgruntled.

"It is all the other stuff, and all the things come together in the end. Like I said, it is easy to say that is the reason but it is not that."

"Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don't have the interests of the team (at heart) -- but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year," added the Finn.

Meanwhile, Vettel, who wrapped up a fourth straight title in India, continued his domination with a one minute 41.335 second clocking at the Yas Marina Circuit, ahead of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

Lewis Hamilton took third for Mercedes ahead of Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 1:30 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
updated 12:36 PM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
updated 7:26 AM EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
updated 7:13 PM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
updated 12:13 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
updated 11:33 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
updated 6:56 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT