Raikkonen nearly skipped Abu Dhabi GP

Kimi Raikkonen claims he nearly skipped the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he is yet to be paid by Lotus this year.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Lotus

The 34-year-old was conspicuous by his absence during Thursday's media activities at the Yas Marina circuit but he arrived in time to take part in both of Friday's practice sessions.

Relations between Raikkonen and his team soured earlier this season after he agreed to return to Ferrari from 2014 and matters came to a head in India last weekend when Raikkonen almost collided with team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean was challenging the Finn for third place when he was forced wide by Raikkonen, who was struggling on badly-worn tyres.

With the Ferrari of Felipe Massa closing in, the incident led to an angry exchange over the team radio, with Lotus' trackside operations director Alan Permane telling Raikkonen to ''get out of the ******* way''.

Team principal Eric Boullier said he would talk to both drivers in Abu Dhabi over the incident, but suggestions that the relationship had broken down were further intensified by Raikkonen's late arrival in the United Arab Emirates.

After finishing fourth in second practice, Raikkonen claimed his issues with the team had been settled for now but could not rule out missing the remaining races in the United States and Brazil.

"I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having," Raikkonen told reporters.

"Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.

"Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don't have the interests of the team [at heart] - but you have been paid zero euro the whole year.

"It doesn't put you in the best place, but that is how it goes.

"Hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues."

Asked if he had considered sitting out the race in Abu Dhabi, or the grands prix in America and Brazil, he replied: "For sure. 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 any more."

Boullier, meanwhile, insisted the spat between Raikkonen and Permane was at an end, saying: "He's talking with Alan Permane and is smiling. There is no story."

Earlier, Lotus chairman Gerard Lopez tried to play down the rift with Raikkonen, telling the team's website: "Kimi is often misunderstood. He's actually a very talkative, very friendly guy.

"One of the unfortunate things about being in the limelight is that people are always trying to make it look like there are huge fights going on.

"Of course, recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship.

"It certainly wasn't the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen."



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