It has been well known that Kimi Raikonnen and Lotus Renault F1 team have had a tense relationship in the last few weeks owing mainly to the financial problems that the team owned by Genii Capital has been having. The deal to bring in new investors in the form of Quantum Investments has been taking forever to reach fruition despite repeated assertions from both parties that the deal will go through. Kimi Raikonnen has categorically stated that he will not drive for the team if his payments did not come through after Abu Dhabi he would no longer drive for the team. Then some announcements were made that Raikonnen will see this season out by driving in the last two races of the season at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, USA and at Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
However, news has now emerged that Raikonnen is to undergo a back surgery and therefore will not be driving anymore this season. Lotus, instead of falling back on its reserve driver David Valsecchi has decided to look for options elsewhere. Nico Hulkenberg who is on the team’s radar for next year’s drive was approached but the German turned the offer down saying that it was not a good move at this time of the year. It later emerged that Michael Schumacher was also approached and he too declined. The team then zeroed in on Heikki Kovalainen who is contracted to the Caterham F1 team and is tipped to return to full time racing next year. Kovalainen has agreed, with the permission of Caterham boss Tony Fernandes who was once locked in a legal battle with Lotus over the usage of the name. Kovalainen was quite categorical that the deal is only for two races and that he would prefer to a full time driver at Caterham in 2014.