SEPTEMBER 22, 2013
Raikkonen injury causes paddock tongues to wag
It is not surprising that news of Kimi Raikkonen's back injury caused eyebrows to raise in the Singapore paddock.
That's because the news followed so hot on the heels of the Finn's controversial revelation that he is only leaving Lotus for Ferrari next year because he has not been paid.
And the common paddock perception is that Raikkonen's 'illness' that caused him to sit out Thursday's proceedings at Spa recently was simply his lack of desire to attend.
Now, Raikkonen qualifying 13th in Singapore, ten places behind Romain Grosjean, is apparently due to a pinched nerve in his back.
"Perhaps he should pad his seat with wads of money?" one paddock cynic said mischievously late on Saturday.
Sources insist, however, that the 'iceman' really does have a painfully bad back.
The official story, according to Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper, is that the injury dates back to a huge backwards testing crash at Magny Cours in 2001.
Correspondents Frank Schneider and Nicola Pohl have heard something different -- Raikkonen hurt his back in an alcohol-fueled stumble on a staircase.
A Lotus team member said without elaborating: "There was an incident."