Lotus has confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will not be allowed to compete on Rally Finland in August.
Raikkonen, who returned to F1 this season, having spent the last two years competing in the World Rally Championship, expressed his interest in doing the event in an interview with Motorsport News
“I knew rallying was tough as I'd done some events before but it's different at the highest level. I knew it wouldn't be easy. Of course, I wanted to do better. But I'm not finished,” Kimi stated.
“I want to go back, whether for my career or after I don't know. I'd like to do Rally Finland this season as it fits with the [F1] calendar but you'll have to ask the team if it fits in my contract.”
Despite his desire though, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier was quick to clarify that it is not something that will happen, even if the event does fall during F1's summer holiday.
“There was a journalist who asked him if he loves rally - yes. Would you love to do rally again? - yes. Would you love to do your home rally? - yes. There was nothing else, but contractually he cannot do it. End of story,” Boullier told the Press Association
ahead of this Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
Lotus' position is entirely understandable too, given the team, then competing under the Renault banner, lost its star driver, Robert Kubica, prior to the start of the 2011 season, when the Pole suffered a life-threatening accident competing on the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy. Kubica injuries were such that his F1 career now hangs in the balance [see separate story - HERE
“Obviously there is a trauma here after 2011,” Boullier added.
“But we can't have a contract with the drivers that has a clause that allows them to take any risk because they are so valuable to the team. So, rallying, skiing, whatever you want. It is not allowed.”