Kimi Raikkonen has reached a provisional agreement with Lotus to settle his pay dispute, which should ensure he completes the 2013 Formula 1 season with the team.
Following a weekend of intense negotiations between the Finn’s management and Lotus owner Gerard Lopez, sources have confirmed that a deal has been put in place that resolves their issues.
Although Raikkonen had been persuaded to race in Abu Dhabi after threatening to not do so, he and his management team made it emphatically clear that he would not continue for the United States and Brazil races if matters were not sorted.
Speaking on Friday, when he revealed he had not been paid at all during 2013, Raikkonen has said: “I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business. Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation. You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that… it is not really my fault anymore.”
That threat, and the possibility of there even being court action if Lotus was not willing to concede some ground, proved a catalyst for the situation to be sorted. On Sunday morning, Lopez and Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson laid out a framework for moving forward that both parties are happy with. As long as the deal is formally signed off by lawyers, and Lotus sticks to the points of the agreement laid out, then Raikkonen will compete in the final two races of the campaign.
Raikkonen’s presence will be valuable to the team as it is locked in a big battle with Mercedes and Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship.
The Finn had a nightmare weekend in Abu Dhabi, starting last after his car failed a post-qualifying floor deflection test and then retiring on the first lap.