Kimi Raikkonen's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix lasted one corner with the Lotus driver retiring on the opening lap.

The Finn immediately left the circuit and did not speak to the media. However after the race Eric Boullier spoke about the incident and the reason for his retirement.

"As far as I know there was contact with one of the Caterham's at turn one and the track rod was broken," said the Frenchman.

It has been a difficult weekend for the team with Raikkonen arriving late on Friday and speculation rife that the former world champion might not race at all. The relationship between Raikkonen and the team has deteriorated in recent months with Kimi claiming not to have been paid throughout the season, and the recent incident in the Indian Grand Prix - when he was told to 'move out of the ****ing way' - has clearly upset the Finn.

When asked about his relationship with Raikkonen, Boullier was keen to stress how important the 'Ice man' still is to the team in their quest to finish second in the Constructors' Championship.

"You have to keep emotion apart and be rational. We are very happy to have Kimi finishing the season with us," Boullier stated. "He is a competitor and this weekend he came and qualified fifth so you cannot question his commitment.

"He will be fighting again in Austin and Brazil and hopefully he won't have any issues with the logic of the stewards."

Raikkonen himself meanwhile seemed philosophical about his early exit, at least in his comment in the official Lotus post-race press release.

"There was some contact in front of me through the first corner so I stuck to the inside, but unfortunately one of the Caterhams touched my front wheel and it broke the track rod," he explained. "It wasn't a heavy impact, but the angle made it worse.

"It's never easy starting so far back, but after the penalty [and losing fifth place on the grid] it was a better choice to help our chances in the race rather than starting from the pit lane. After a difficult start to the weekend we did well yesterday so it was a shame we couldn't start where we qualified, but these things happen sometimes; it's just bad luck," he concluded.

by Stephen English at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi



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