The Formula One season is over for Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finnish star of Lotus F1 Team – keeping third position in the drivers’ championship with 183 points – will go through a back surgery on next Thursday, and because of that cannot race in the two last Grands Prix of USA and Brazil.
Raikkonen has had problems with his back for a long time. During the practise in Singapore in September the pain got so bad that Kimi would not have been able to participate the qualifying and the race without a cortisone injection.
Now after the race in Abu Dhabi a week ago Kimi’s back has been even worse. He has not been able to sleep properly without painkillers.
– The experts were recommending the surgery, and it will be done next Thursday in Salzburg, Steve Robertson, the manager of Raikkonen, breaks the news to Turun Sanomat.
After the operation Kimi won’t be able to do anything for four weeks. This means the current season stops here.
– Obviously, it is a disappointing way to end the relationship with Lotus after two successful seasons on Kimi's return to F1. However, Kimi cannot afford to delay the operation anymore. It is crucial to correct the problem now in order to start 2014 fit and healthy, Robertson points out.
Most likely the car number 7 will be driven in Austin by Davide Valsecchi, the Lotus test and reserve driver. Valsecchi has tested the E21 car for two days in Barcelona and Silverstone. If Valsecchi gets the drive, he will be the first Italian to race in a Grand Prix since Jarno Trulli in 2011.