AUGUST 23, 2013
Raikkonen absence was Lotus ultimatum?
Was there more to Kimi Raikkonen's mystery illness on Thursday?
While some believe the reticent Finn skipped his media duties at Spa-Francorchamps because he was actually feeling unwell, others think he was keen to dodge the media spotlight in the heat of his leading role in the 2014 'silly season'.
According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, however, there is a third paddock theory.
"Either I get my money, or I do not drive," said correspondent Michael Schmidt, imagining a theoretical conversation between the 2007 world champion and his Lotus bosses.
Raikkonen went into the August break admitting there have been problems with the payment of his wages in 2013.
The 33-year-old's friend Sebastian Vettel, however, doubted there was any truth to that rumour.
"Kimi is not going to just throw his title chances away (by not driving)," the German said.
And Lotus team boss Eric Boullier insists there is still a good chance the Enstone based team will win the battle to secure Raikkonen's signature for 2014.
"Kimi wants to stay with us," he told CNN on Thursday.
"It's up to him to choose what he wants to do. We know what he wants. We will do everything that we can to get what he wants.
"We need to make him just happy to stay," added the Frenchman.
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