ABU DHABI – Lotus team chief Eric Boullier admitted on Saturday that he no longer has any control over unpaid driver Kimi Raikkonen’s immediate future with the team.
The Frenchman told reporters at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that, following Finn Raikkonen’s threat to boycott the final two races of the season in the United States and Brazil, it was down to team owner Gerard Lopez to resolve the problems.
“There is discussion between Gerard and Kimi and it obviously involves our shareholders and parent companies,” he said. “More than that, I cannot answer you.”
Raikkonen, who will join Ferrari next year, is believed to be owed more than 15 million euros (£12.7m, $20.3m) by the team and has not been paid this year.
Shortly before the third free practice session for Sunday’s race began on Saturday morning, Raikkonen summed up his feelings.
He said: “You have to have some faith in people, but when it’s this length of time saying the same thing it’s not easy…
“Hopefully we’ll find a solution. I try to do my best I can in every race and it’s not the happiest moment, but I still try to do my best.”
Raikkonen was persuaded to compete at Yas Marina after reaching an understanding with Lopez. He was absent from Wednesday’s and Thursday’s media activities and arrived late, but in time to take part in Friday practice.