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Singapore Grand Prix: Raikkonen rebounds back to his best

After suffering from serious lower back pain in Saturday that contributed to a slump to 13th place in qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen needed to pull out something truly special on race day in Singapore.
When it emerged that Kimi Raikkonen was suffering from back pain on Saturday and that his participation in Sunday's race might even be in the balance, there were those who wondered whether the Finn had simply had enough of driving for free after revealing earlier in the week that he was struggling to be paid by the Lotus F1 team.

The cynics speculated that Raikkonen might just park the car and take it easy on Sunday. After all, what could he really do from 13th place on the grid on a tight and twisty street track like the 23-turn Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore? It was hardly as if he was going to be able to get on the podium from there.

Two hours later, not only had Raikkonen gritted his teeth and worked through the pain, he'd also put the Lotus on the podium at the end of one of the toughest and most physical races of the season. There's no question that the Finn certainly earns his money, whether or not it actually arrives in his bank account.

"It's been a difficult weekend, so to finish on the podium is a good result," said Raikkonen, as ever the master of understatement. "The car felt good and it could have been even better if I'd been able to do more work in practice, but even with a better qualifying performance I think third was the maximum we could achieve today."

As for his back problem - the legacy of a racing accident 12 years ago - Raikkonen said it was much improved on Sunday compared with the previous day when it had impacted his qualifying performance.

"I didn't feel it that much in the race," Raikkonen insisted, before admitted that "Yesterday was not ideal and I almost didn't drive.

"It's not the first time I have had issues with my back and I know I have some work to do over the winter so we will see what we can do," he added. "Now after the race it's not 100 percent, but we have two weeks to rest and get it right.

"We did the best we could, and could not achieve much more today," he added. "We have to be happy enough with finishing third and we can sort the problems for the next race."

Certainly the contrasting fortunes of the two Lotus drivers were turned on their head overnight. After excelling in qualifying on Saturday, Romain Grosjean's run in the Grand Prix on Sunday came to a premature end when a problem with his car's pneumatics meant first a lengthy call to pit road to top up the air supply, and then ultimately retirement a few laps later when the issue proved intractable.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.09.2013- Race: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
22.09.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
22.09.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
22.09.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
22.09.2013- Podium: Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 (3rd position)
22.08.2014- Press conference, Dave Greenwood (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Race Engineer
22.08.2014- Press conference, John Iley (GBR) Caterham F1 Team Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, James Allison (GBR) Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, Dave Greenwood (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Race Engineer
22.08.2014- Press conference, Rob Smedley (GBR) Williams Head of Vehicle Performance
22.08.2014- Press conference, Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Max Verstappen (NLD) Scuderia Toro Rosso
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Crash , Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Crash , Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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September 23, 2013 12:59 AM

Over here in the USA, our NBCSN announcers said that Kimi showed 'grit' & showed why Ferrari hired him back! :) To all those say that he was not motivated, according to his contract, not being paid, he did not have to be there at all let alone do it in pain. But he did, & he excelled, because as he said this week, he was only there because he loves the racing.

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