A tutto c’è un limite… parla Kimi–01/11/2013
Kimi Raikkonen willing to skip final F1 races of 2013 in Lotus row
Kimi Raikkonen has warned Lotus that he will consider not finishing the 2013 Formula 1 season if the team does not sort out its financial problems.
As AUTOSPORT revealed on Thursday, Raikkonen’s future with Lotus has been plunged into doubt following the non-payment of his salary and amid heightened emotions after a tense Indian Grand Prix radio exchange.
Speaking for the first time about the matter in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Raikkonen confirmed that he did come close to not racing this weekend, and has not ruled out skipping either of the final races in the United States or Brazil.
"I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having," said Raikkonen.
"Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can."
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he would contemplate not taking part in the final races if the outstanding matters are not resolved, Raikkonen said: "For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business.
"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 any more."
RADIO EXCHANGE NOT MAIN ISSUE
Raikkonen’s relations with the team were strained by the radio exchange in India, when he was ordered to move aside for Romain Grosjean, but his main frustration is relating to outstanding wages – which are believed to be in excess of $15 million.
Speaking about the radio discussion with trackside operations director Alan Permane, Raikkonen said: "It is a part of it. It is true those things should not happen but they have happened. That is not really the issue.
"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."
The 2007 world champion also expressed frustration at the fact that his loyalty to the team has been questioned at a time when he has not been paid.
"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," said Raikkonen.
"It doesn’t put you in the best place, but that is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues, and try to finish as well as we can."
Lotus boss Boullier admits Kimi Raikkonen’s future out of his hands
Lotus boss Eric Boullier admits that Kimi Raikkonen’s immediate future with the team in Formula 1 is now pretty much out of his hands.
Raikkonen has threatened to skip the final two races of the F1 season if a financial dispute with the outfit is not resolved, having come close to not racing at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Raikkonen was persuaded to compete at Yas Marina after reaching an understanding with team owner Gerard Lopez, and Boullier says is it now up to Lopez to sort out the situation once and for all.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he was confident a deal could be reached with Raikkonen to ensure he races in America and Brazil, Boullier said: "Part of it I cannot answer you.
"There is discussion between Gerard and Kimi and it obviously involves our shareholders and parent companies."
Although the Raikkonen situation has come just as Lotus is knuckling down for a tough fight for second in the constructors’ championship, Boullier said he was hopeful the matter would not affect things on track.
"We have an exceptional group of people in Enstone and they produce a car, with the last aero package based on the long wheelbase, that is delivering," he said.
"We just do our best to be delivering on track. There is obviously some issues which we know already for a long time and we are waiting, as Gerard said, for the new investment company to close the deal with.
"And if that does not happen we will have to think about other scenarios."
Räikkönen put a stop to the blaming
Kimi Räikkönen’s press conference after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix -free practice said it all. The reason why he wanted to stay home became clear to everyone.
– The radio message alone didn’t alone affect, but the line has to be put somewhere. It’s not nice when you hear claimed that you are not a good team player, or rather that I don’t think about the team’s benefit at all. When you have got zero euros this whole year it’s not the best situation for anyone, Räikkönen said.
Then why did the emotions run so high in India after Romain Grosjean’s overtake went tough?
– I don’t know. For me it was like any other race. I drive the same against everyone else, but some people see the situation differently. Everyone have their own opinions, Räikkönen said.
The situation has calmed down for now at least.
– We found a mutual understanding of how to deal with the situation, Räikkönen said.
Turun Sanomat, Abu Dhabi
Pay the salary – or Räikkönen’s season is wrapped up!
Enough is enough. Kimi Räikkönen didn’t left anyone in doubt over why he was about to skip the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
– I am here because I enjoy racing and I always want to do my best when going on the track. Sometimes something just happens, something that should not happen. This sport has both the professional and financial side. It’s not enough if one is in order and the business-things aren’t, Räikkönen told the media.
– I have been put in a difficult situation. They haven’t paid me one single euro this year although they have spread all kinds of stories. It’s not true that I don’t care what happens to the team, but when you are accused of not being a good team player, or rather that you don’t think what’s best for the team, it definitely doesn’t help at least if you haven’t paid any salary so far.
Alan Permane cursed rudely to Räikkönen and got back the same in India.
– But that doesn’t matter anymore at this point. Bygones are bygones. But the line has to be put somewhere and this is now it. If they don’t take care of things that I’m not satisfied with, then I have to react to it. The team should respect the promises they have given or else they find themself from a situation where there is no racing anymore.
Räikkönen didn’t confirm on Friday that he would race the remaining races, although his manager Steve Robertson and his lawyers have reached some kind of an understanding with Gerard Lopez.
– In this profession nothing is ever 100% certain, until the matters have been taken care of as agreed upon. If that doesn’t happen then it’s all the same for me if I race this season anymore or not. It wouldn’t change my life in one way or another, Räikkönen snapped.
On Thursday Robertson presented Kimi different options and he made his own decision based upon them.
– I have been in this business for a long time. One needs to have a certain kind of trust in people. When you repeat the same thing over and over again and nothing happens, it surely doesn’t help the situation. I do try my best, but right now this is not the most pleasant moment in my career. But it’s certain that if I would not try to win here then I would not even have showed up, Räikkönen said.
Then why did the emotions run so high between Permane and Räikkönen when Romain Grosjean overtook Kimi?
– I don’t know. For me it was the same situation like in any other race. I defend my position like this towards everyone and some see different situation in a different way. But what he said doesn’t matter much anymore. It was unfortunate that it happened.
Turun Sanomat, Abu Dhabi