Raikkonen: Lack of payment forced me to leave Lotus

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Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that Lotus’ current financial situation was the determinant factor in his decision to leave the team at the end of 2013 in favor of a move back to Ferrari.

The Finn was announced by the Scuderia last week as completing their line-up for 2014, joining Fernando Alonso in Maranello. Reports had suggested that a lack of pay had helped Raikkonen make up his mind, but the 2007 world champion has finally confirmed this in Friday’s press conference for the Singapore Grand Prix.

“The reasons why I left from the team is purely on the money side,” Raikkonen said. “They haven’t got my salary so it’s an unfortunate thing but like I said, I want to try and help the team as much as I can and I like to race.”

Raikkonen joined Lotus in 2012 following a two-year break from Formula One, and his relationship with the team appeared to be at an all-time high following his victory at the Australian Grand Prix back in March. However, as the financial situation has worsened, Raikkonen has become increasingly dissatisfied, forcing the move to Ferrari.

The Finn had been angling a move to Red Bull as the retiring Mark Webber’s replacement, but the defending world champions instead opted for Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo.

All eyes will be on Ferrari in 2014 as two of the sport’s biggest names look for room to establish their dominance within the team, but both Raikkonen and Alonso will know that they must work together in order to win the constructors’ championship for the Scuderia next year.

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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