Raikkonen to miss last two races of F1 season
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen has pulled out of the last two races of the Formula One season in Texas and Brazil after deciding to have back surgery next week, the Lotus driver's manager said on Sunday.
The decision ended the 2007 world champion's two seasons with Lotus on a controversial note, with the Finn already warning the team a week ago that he could walk out if his wages were not paid.
Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari next year, the glamour team with which he won his world title, and had a seat fitting with them last week.
Manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat and the autosport.com website that Raikkonen could no longer delay surgery.
"In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus in the final two grands prix," he said.
"However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible."
The Turun Sanomat said he would have the operation in Salzburg on Thursday and would need four weeks to recover.
Raikkonen has a long-standing back problem, which flared up in Singapore in September and is understood to be a legacy from a crash he suffered in testing with Sauber during his 2001 rookie season. Continued...