Kimi Raikkonen says a combination of back pain and a slow car caused poor qualifying
Finn will start Singapore GP from 13th place
By William Esler. Last Updated: 21/09/13 5:38pm
Raikkonen admits it was a combination of back pains and a lack of pace that saw him qualify in 13th.
Kimi Raikkonen says his back pain contributed to him only qualifying 13th for the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Lotus driver will line-up ten places behind team-mate Romain Grosjean at the Marina Bay circuit after a disappointing session.
The Finn says his back pain, which he had to take painkilling injections for, did cause him an issue, but also feels the car was partly to blame.
"I think it is a combination of both," he told Sky Sports F1. "This morning I couldn't really drive so we didn't do what we are supposed to do. But that is how it goes and we will see what we can do tomorrow."
Although the Singapore street circuit is notoriously bumpy, and therefore one of the most physically demanding on the calendar for drivers, Raikkonen's back issue is thought to be long-standing and actually date back more than a decade to a testing crash in his rookie season for Sauber in 2001.
However, despite being in pain, the 2007 World Champion has no intention of missing Sunday's race.
"I will try and we will see what happens," he added. "It is not the first time and I don't think it will be the last time I have had the pain."
That may not be a decision he gets to make, though, with Team Principal Eric Boullier saying it is an issue the team will have to monitor and make a call on ahead of the race.
"With the pain-killing injection, he doesn't feel anything but I think we will have to monitor through the night and see how he feels tomorrow," the Frenchman said.
Boullier also dismissed rumours that the back pain was an excuse to not race after Raikkonen revealed he had not been paid by the team.
"There are a lot of stories around and maybe the back pain was something on the top of everything," he said.
The Team Principal did admit, though, that he is upset that Raikkonen aired the team's financial situation in public.
"Yeah, in some ways the timing is not right and it is never good to go public with these kinds of things" Boullier continued.
"The financial situation is that we owe him money, but we have to give priority to some other people first and we have to manage our cash flow. There is no issue, his money is guaranteed, it is just a cash flow issue. It is a little bit sad in some ways, but we have to deal with it."
Eric Boullier says they will monitor driver Kimi Raikkonen overnight
Despite Raikkonen moving to Ferrari in 2014, Boullier insists Lotus will continue to support the Finn and he will not be isolated on race weekends.
"Not at all," he confirmed. "When we are racing like this weekend, everything is shared between the guys. The only thing we make sure is that any information about next year will not be shared with him."
Whilst Raikkonen faces a challenge to scrap for points on Sunday, Boullier is hopeful the second car of Grosjean can finish on the podium from his third-place starting position.
"The car is good and Romain is on it as well so I think we have to expect to be on the podium tomorrow and if we can split the Red Bulls that would be good," he concluded.