Kimi Raikkonen's been famously curt with the over-helpful Lotus pit wall in the past, but communications broke down altogether on Sunday at the Indian Grand Prix after the Finn's determination to hold on to a podium position at all costs sparked an all-out verbal war between the driver and his team.

Raikkonen was trying to stretch a one-stop strategy into a podium position when he came under pressure from his team mate Romain Grosjean, who was on tyres five laps younger than his own and therefore faster in the closing stages of the race.

But Raikkonen was insistent on holding on to the position, even forcing his team mate clear off the track at one point in his efforts to cling on - and encounter that could have resulted in a disastrous accident for both cars, and which was plainly enough for the Lotus pit wall.

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"Kimi, get out of the f***ing way," warned an unidentified member of the Lotus crew, after Raikkonen refused to give way.

"Don't f***ing shout at me," shot back Raikkonen, as the radio communication broke up - probably fortuitously - to prevent the war of words building further.

Raikkonen finally yielded the position and Grosjean got by, and the Finn's tyres continued to degrade to such an extent that he was forced to pit on the penultimate lap, dropping him down to seventh place by the finish - although he consoled himself a little by claiming the fastest laptime on his new set of tyres.

"It was a little disappointing, to be honest. He knew his tyres were finished and there was no need to have a battle," Lotus' trackside operations director Alan Permane told Sky Sports F1 afterwards. "Romain was racing hard and I'm sure we'll have a chat in the office about it."

"We could have lost two cars," complained Grosjean. He was asked what he thought had sparked the spat, and replied: "No idea. Ask him, though I'm not sure he'd answer ... Honestly, I don't know. It's not my problem. I overtook him and thankfully we did not lose any points."

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier took a more conciliatory stance in his post-race comments: "It was a bit of a misunderstanding because Kimi didn't expect Romain to be so fast and we then had to cool them down on the radio," he said. "When you have ten laps to go, you never know how much your laps might go."

Raikkonen didn't hang around for post-race interviews, but subsequently calmly explained in the team's post-race press release that his Grand Prix had been badly compromised early in the race by overheating issues that had wrecked his hopes of making the second set of tyres make it to the finish of the race.

"We ran maybe the first twenty laps with no brakes as they had overheated massively, so every time I got close to somebody I lost braking," he said. "At the end of the race I ran out of tyre performance too so it's been a pretty disappointing day.

"I knew the tyres would drop off quite quickly, but there wasn't much to lose between trying to get to the end and making an extra pit stop in terms of time lost. In the end it didn't work."

The row rather overshadowed the brilliant achievement of Grosjean, who picked himself up from a disappointing qualifying on Saturday that left him mired in 17th place on the grid to finish in a fine podium courtesy of being able to make that one-stop strategy work better than his team mate had.

"If you had told me yesterday that I'd be on the podium here I would have said you were crazy," the Frenchman admitted. "Before the race our best prediction was fourth if we had a strong start and a perfect race, so it was an amazing result and a great performance from the team.

"Straight from the beginning of the race I felt very comfortable on the option tyres and we looked in pretty good shape, then we fitted the mediums and the car was really quick," he said. "I knew it was going to be close [at the end.] We had to take care of the tyres, plus we had an engine issue at the end of the race which made things quite tricky."

Grosjean was praised by his boss after clinching third place at the chequered flag: "A great performance from Romain, who had a very strong drive and managed to conserve his tyre performance right to the end.

"He was fast today despite having to nurse his engine, and being on the podium is a good reward for the whole team," Boullier added.

"Romain's engine pneumatic system's air consumption was a big worry and we had to use every trick in the book to avoid him retiring as per Singapore," explained Permane. "It was a fantastic drive from Romain again."

Hopefully all that praise will feed into the team's decision on its 2014 line-up, which is still pending. It's believed that Grosjean's confirmation is a formality, while the team is yet to decide pon either Pastor Maldonado or Nico Hulkenberg as Grosjean's teammate in place of Raikkonen next season.