The Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has announced that he will not take part in the final two races of the Formula 1 season as he needs to have back surgery.
It marks the end of a strained relationship with Lotus as Raikkonen will switch to driving for Ferrari in the 2014 Formula 1 season. The 34 year old won the world championship with Ferrari when he drove for them in 2007. Lotus are yet to announce their replacement driver for 2014, but, of course, his Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean will still take part in the Constructors Championships in Austin, Texas next week and Betfair is currently offering 16/1 odds on him winning there.
Rumour has it that it’s not just the back injury that has led to Raikkonen’s early exit. He has claimed that he has not been paid by Lotus all year, but his manager Steve Robertson has said that Raikkonen’s long-term back problem is the reason for leaving the season early. While at the Singapore Grand Prix in October, Raikkonen aggravated an old injury and apparently it has been bothering him since then. According to his official website, he will undergo surgery this week in Austria so that he can have time to recover before the beginning of next year’s Forumla 1 season.
Time will tell how Raikkonen’s switch to Ferrari goes next year. For the Constructors Championships in Texas next month, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is currently a long-priced 6th favourite with Betfair at 16/1, while the Betfair price for Lotus to have the winning car is 10/1 at the time of writing. But as Vettel has technically already won the Formula 1 World Championship for this year, the results of the last two races of the F1 season in the US and Brazil could throw up some surprising results.