Acciacchi di stagione…–21/09/2013
Singapore GP: Kimi Raikkonen to qualify despite back pain issue
Kimi Raikkonen will attempt to qualify for the Singapore Grand Prix despite a recurring back problem nearly forcing him out.
The Finn complained of back pain during Friday’s running, and his situation worsened in the final practice session, which he ended 12th overall.
Lotus had been concerned enough to start getting reserve driver Davide Valsecchi ready just in case he was needed to step in.
It is thought that Raikkonen’s issue has been caused by a trapped nerve.
Following attention from the team’s medical staff on Saturday evening, Lotus and Raikkonen have decided that he will now take part in qualifying – although it is unclear if he will be able to complete all three sessions.
It is possible that the Finn may only take part in Q1, to secure his spot in the grid, before returning to his hotel to rest ahead of the race.
If Raikkonen is unwell on Sunday, then Formula 1’s rules mean that it is too late for a replacement to be slotted in.
Singapore GP: Kimi Raikkonen’s back issue is 2001 test crash legacy
Kimi Raikkonen’s back pain issue in Singapore has its roots in an injury from a 2001 crash, AUTOSPORT has learned.
The Finn had a heavy testing accident at Magny-Cours in September 2001, during his rookie Formula 1 season with Sauber.
Raikkonen went off at the fast Imola chicane leading to the Chateau d’Eau corner and had a violent rearward impact.
He was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up, and though he escaped serious injury, his back trouble is a legacy of that incident.
In Singapore this weekend Lotus got reserve driver Davide Valsecchi ready in case Raikkonen could not drive in qualifying.
He was able to participate but only managed 13th on the grid.
Raikkonen has now returned to his hotel to rest before the race.
Although the back problem remained an issue in qualifying, Raikkonen felt it had eased since final practice earlier in the day.
The truth about Räikkönen’s back injury
Kimi Räikkönen’s back is better and Mark Arnall confirmed on Sunday afternoon that Kimi will start the GP as usual.
Because more and more wilder rumours about the reason for the backpain are circulating, Turun Sanomat will now tell what really happened.
Räikkönen drove over the kerbs in 1st practice and right on the first lap, which shook his whole body making the bone in the middle of the back move and it pressed the spine so much that he couldn’t breathe.
The seat was a bit skewed, which affected his driving position. After that every time he pushed the pedal with his left foot in right corners the pain got unbearable.
After practice day they tried to release the bone pressing the spine with chiropractic treatment, but on Saturday morning the pain was even worse. In Saturday practice Räikkönen almost stopped driving, but he continued in the end and took also part in the qualification with incomplete setups which again slowed down the car.
They eased his backpain with pain killers for qualification.
Turun Sanomat, Singapore
Raikkonen injury causes paddock tongues to wag
It is not surprising that news of Kimi Raikkonen’s back injury caused eyebrows to raise in the Singapore paddock.
That’s because the news followed so hot on the heels of the Finn’s controversial revelation that he is only leaving Lotus for Ferrari next year because he has not been paid.
And the common paddock perception is that Raikkonen’s ‘illness’ that caused him to sit out Thursday’s proceedings at Spa recently was simply his lack of desire to attend.
Now, Raikkonen qualifying 13th in Singapore, ten places behind Romain Grosjean, is apparently due to a pinched nerve in his back.
"Perhaps he should pad his seat with wads of money?" one paddock cynic said mischievously late on Saturday.
Sources insist, however, that the ‘iceman’ really does have a painfully bad back.
The official story, according to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper, is that the injury dates back to a huge backwards testing crash at Magny Cours in 2001.
Correspondents Frank Schneider and Nicola Pohl have heard something different — Raikkonen hurt his back in an alcohol-fueled stumble on a staircase.
A Lotus team member said without elaborating: "There was an incident."