Formula One drivers keep themselves in peak physical condition, such are the demands placed on them in order to do what they do. But otherworldly as their capabilities may be, they're still human, and that means they get injured or sick just like the rest of us.

Case in point: Kimi Raikkonen and the announcement made today by Lotus that he'll have to sit out the rest of the season in order to undergo back surgery. That means Lotus will have to find a replacement driver for the last two races in Austin and Brazil while Kimi has and recovers from the operation.

Though we wouldn't debate the legitimacy of Kimi's condition or the necessity to rectify it, the timing is sure to raise some eyebrows. Raikkonen has been at the center of a pay dispute with Lotus, and while the situation was reportedly resolved, his decision to undergo what is said to be elective surgery at this point in the season (as opposed to waiting until its end) raises some questions as to his commitment to the team he is leaving and his team's financial commitments to him in turn.
Show full PR text

Lotus F1 Team can confirm that Kimi Räikkönen will miss the final two races of the 2013 Formula 1 season to undergo, and recover from, back surgery.

The team will make an announcement about the replacement driver for the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix in due course

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      The Law
      • 1 Year Ago
      He'll be back next season colder than ever.
      Tom Winch
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you're looking for the reason Kimi has chosen to forgo the last two races of the year, look no further than this quote Friday by Jonathan Noble, F1 editor of Autosport, "Lotus says its pay issues with Kimi Raikkonen have now been put on the back burner, so both can focus on delivering a strong end to the campaign." So Lotus says it's pay issues with Kimi are on the back burner until the end of the campaign. That same day Kimi was quoted saying how much he was looking forward to coming to race in Austin. At the time I'm sure he didn't know about Lotus putting his pay on the back burner. I think Lotus still hasn't been able to reach an agreement to pay Kimi and he's not going to race for them as a result. Very short-sighted on the part of Lotus, especially since there's still a remote possibility they could move up in the Constructor's Championship, which would mean millions more euros in Lotus' coffers for next year's campaign.
      Echelon Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I'd love to see him race next week, I can certainly understand why he wouldn't be going the extra mile and suffer the extra pain for a team that isn't paying him. Sounds like he has found a contractually safe way to avoid racing for them.
      • 1 Year Ago
      All this sounds rather implausible. Firstly any spinal trauma that requires surgery would mean maximum immobilisation of the affected part to minimize further stress & damage. So that would mean Kimi's doctors would've likely prohibited him from operating high g-force machinery like an F1 car (Alonso experienced around 25g during his impact at the last race). This is most likely an issue related to his unpaid wages, he himself said he will boycott the final 2 races & showed up for the Abu Dhabi race at the last minute.
      • 1 Year Ago
      And why not? He already has a new ride for next year and he's not being paid anyway. This is two fewer chances to get hurt and more time to recover from his surgery.
        • 1 Year Ago
        That's my thoughts. Lotus has proven more than untrustworthy in his contract, so why take the chances for them. Just have the surgery and take the time you need to heal. Plus, I don't get why this is our business anyway. What he does with his life is his choice. Who the fonk is AB or any of us to judge?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Captain Stu
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know what's more interesting- that "surgery" is Finnish for tattoo or Kimi's getting a tramp stamp.
      • 1 Year Ago
      considering his team is being cheap and not paying him, his moving to a new team next year and the world champ has already been crowned it certainly makes sense
      Robert Markoš
      • 1 Year Ago
      Or maybe (bear with me on this one)... he really is in a lot of pain and needs surgery to fix his back up.
      Justin B.
      • 1 Year Ago
      He needs surgery to get Luca Di Montezemolo's head out of his ass.
      • 1 Year Ago
      1) Kimi hasn't been paid all year. 2) Kimi gets yelled at over the radio for not letting Grosjean pass easily. 3) At the very next race he shows up late without notice but qualifies well. 4) Gets a technical penalty that puts him at the back of the field. 5) Crashes on the first turn and retires from race. Leaves track without media interviews. 6) Reveals that he is having surgery on his back, missing the last two races. Pretty obvious, no?
        • 1 Year Ago
        The only problem with this theory is that Räikkönen has had these back pains for the whole season already, there was some race (don't remember which one) where he almost didn't race because of them earlier in the season.
          • 1 Year Ago
          That was the Singapore GP. Kimi allegedly acquired this injury back in his Sauber days during a testing accident I believe. So why hasn't it been treated sufficiently uptil now? In the meantime he won the F1 World Title, raced in WRC & NASCAR, returned back to F1 & won 2 GP's already. Either he's one tough mother or this is just a cover up for his unpaid wages so as not to enrage organisers & race fans who have already paid for their tickets.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the shake up. I mean the WCC/WDC has already been clenched. This makes things more interesting for the remainder of the season. The only thing that could make the rest of the season more interesting is Webber skipping the last races. I hope Valescchi seriously shows up in Kimi's place. The silly season should be really interesting from this point on.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X