Kimi Raikkonen confirms he considered boycotting Abu Dhabi GP over Lotus dispute
Finn reveals he has been "paid zero euro the whole year"
By Pete Gill and James Galloway at the Yas Marina Circuit. Last Updated: 04/11/13 8:27am
Kimi Raikkonen was considering boycotting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix due to not being paid by Lotus.
An angry Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed he had to be talked out of refusing to drive at this week's Abu Dhabi GP in protest at being "paid zero euro the whole year".
Raikkonen announced in September that he will leave the team at the end of the current campaign to return to Ferrari. Since then, his relationship with the Enstone outfit appears to have deteriorated rapidly, culminating in a sweary radio spat with trackside director Alan Permane at last week's Indian GP and the Finn's absence from the Abu Dhabi paddock on Thursday.
It has now emerged that Raikkonen was prepared to skip this week's event having grown exasperated with the team's failure to pay his wages - and will miss the final races if "an understanding" on the belated payment of his wages is not respected.
"I came here only because hopefully we've found an understanding on the certain issues that we've been having," the 2007 World Champion told reporters.
"Hopefully it gets fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can."
Asked if he could sit out the forthcoming races in America and Brazil if those issues are not resolved, Raikkonen bluntly warned: "Yes, for sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving but a big part of it is business and sometimes when that's not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation. But we have to put the line sometime and if it goes over that it's not really my fault anymore.
"I came here only because hopefully we've found an understanding on the certain issues that we've been having. Hopefully it get fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can."
While Lotus have issued an apology after Raikkonen was sworn at by Permane as Romain Grosjean challenged his team-mate for third at the Buddh International Circuit, Raikkonen says that wasn't the principal reason he considered a boycott.
"It's a small part of it," he said. "Those things shouldn't happen but unfortunately it happened and that's not really the issue. It's the other stuff and obviously all the things come together in the end.
"It's easy to say that's the reason why I didn't almost come, it's not that simple. Sometimes it's not very nice when you hear that you don't have the interests of the team [first] and then you've been paid zero euro the whole year.
"So it doesn't put you in the best place, but that's how it goes and hopefully we found an understanding on both sides how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues and try to finish as well as we can."
On the track on Friday, Raikkonen was fourth fastest, with World Champion Sebastian Vettel once again topping a Red Bull one-two.