user icon

Unpaid Raikkonen threatens Lotus to stop racing

  • Published on 02 Nov 2013 11:06
  • comments 0
  • By: Danny Sosef
Eric Boullier has confirmed that Lotus is still behind in its payments to Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver, who sat out Thursday's proceedings in Abu Dhabi, revealed when he finally arrived in the Persian Gulf that he almost didn't make the trip from Switzerland, and he could sit out the last two races of 2013.

"For sure (I could)," the 2007 world champion, who is returning to Ferrari in 2014, answered when asked about not racing in Austin and Brazil.

"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."

The current impasse was clearly triggered by the recent Indian grand prix, when Lotus engineer Alan Permane swore angrily at Raikkonen on the radio.

"It's not very nice when you hear that you don't have the interests of the team at heart and you've been paid zero euros the whole year," said the 34-year-old.

"You have to draw the line somewhere and if it goes over it's not really my fault," added Raikkonen.

Team boss Boullier admitted to Finnish television MTV3: "Yes, we still owe him something."

The Frenchman said he didn't want to comment on Raikkonen's absence on Thursday.

"Because I don't want to put fuel on the fire," said Boullier.

If the fire burns out of control, Raikkonen might not be at the wheel of the black and gold car in Austin and Brazil.

Asked about his driver's boycott threat, Boullier answered: "I can't answer some of your questions.

"(Team owner) Gerard Lopez is in negotiations with Kimi."

The tension at Lotus is undoubtedly related to the protracted finalisation of a 35 per cent sale of the team to the 'Quantum' investment group.

"The deadline is approaching," Boullier said, "and if it doesn't happen then we will have to consider other solutions in the interest of preserving the team.

"I don't want to be forced to make massive layoffs," he added.

The seriousness of Lotus' financial situation also explains why the team is considering signing Pastor Maldonado, with millions in PDVSA backing, rather than the highly rated Nico Hulkenberg for 2014.

Boullier said the obvious priority is to conclude the Quantum deal.

"We did a triple audit and there is no financial problem with them," he insisted. "But now it becomes extremely difficult to move money around the world."

Not only that, Lotus now has Raikkonen's strike threat to handle.

"Sure, Kimi has emotions too," Boullier told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper. "He's not a cold-hearted man, he's a normal person."

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Renault
  • Points 27
  • Podiums 0
  • Grand Prix 38
  • Country Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Date of b. Mar 9 1985 (36)
  • Place of b. Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.73 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar