Raikkonen could walk away from Lotus before season’s end

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Kimi Raikkonen has said that he could leave Lotus before the end of the season unless he receives some of the money that he is owed by the team.

The on-going feud between Raikkonen and Lotus over payment has been well documented, with the team insisting that the situation is completely normal as this is how they manage their cash flow. However, Raikkonen, who will leave the team at the end of the year in favor of a move back to Ferrari, is losing patience and could leave early as a result. He also revealed that he very nearly didn’t come to the race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“I came here only because we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having,” he explained to journalists on Friday. “Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.

“I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving, but a big part of it is business. Sometimes, when that is not dealt with like it should be, we end up in an unfortunate situation. You have to put the line in somewhere.”

The breakdown in the relationship between Raikkonen and the team was evident in Korea when trackside operations director Alan Permane swore at the Finn and told him to move aside for the quicker Romain Grosjean. Raikkonen, known for his dislike of communication over the radio, swore back and told them to leave him alone. Eventually, Grosjean did pass his teammate and went on to finish in third place.

Therefore, Raikkonen may not be racing at the Circuit of the Americas later this month when Formula One makes its annual visit to the United States. Should this be the case, it is likely that third driver Davide Valsecchi would step up to his seat for the final two rounds of the season.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”