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Raikkonen issues Lotus quit threat

1 November 2013

Kimi Raikkonen has threatened to walk away from the Lotus team before the end of the season unless the team resolves its financial dispute with the 34-year-old.

Raikkonen only arrived in Abu Dhabi on Friday having been a no-show in the paddock on Thursday, leading to suggestions that he might not appear on track this weekend following the apparent breakdown in his relationship with the team following the Indian Grand Prix.

Speaking following Friday practice at Yas Marina however, Raikkonen revealed that he had only travelled to Abu Dhabi because he had been assured that he would be paid what he is owed by the team, having yet to be paid in 2013.

"I came here only because, hopefully, we found an understanding," he told members of the press at Yas Marina. "Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season. I enjoy racing and I enjoy driving but there's a big part of it that's business and sometimes when that's not dealt with like it should be we end up in unfortunate situations. You have to put the line somewhere and if it goes over that it is not really my fault anymore."

Raikkonen insisted that money was the main reason for his current dispute with the team, and that the radio conversations in India weren't a major factor.

"It's a small part of it and those things shouldn't happen,” he said. “Unfortunately those things did happen, but that's not really the issue. It's the other stuff and all the things together in the end. It's easy to say that's the reason, but it's not that.

"Everybody has their own view and own ideas of everything and sometimes it's not very nice when you hear that you don't have the interest of the team. Then you've been paid zero Euro the whole year, it kind of doesn't put you in the best place. That's the way it goes and hopefully we've found an understanding on both sides as to how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues."

On-track, Raikkonen ended the first day of running at Yas Marina with the fourth quickest time, having elected to run with the shorter wheelbase versrion of Lotus' E21.

“The car feels okay and we had a pretty normal Friday," he said. "The shorter chassis feels okay here, but I didn't drive it back to back with the longer one so it's difficult to say which is better. We're still trying to get rid of some understeer, but on this circuit it feels better so far. As always, there are some improvements we can make to the car so let's see what happens tomorrow.”


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