Two Lotus F1 Team bits of news this morning as Free Practice 1 in Austin has been delayed and interrupted due to fog and the medical helicopter being unable to land.
Lotus’ now former driver, Kimi Raikkonen, has had successful back surgery. Here is the official statement from the team:
“As planned, Kimi Räikkönen underwent back surgery yesterday at The University Hospital of Strasbourg. Lotus F1 Team is happy to report that the operation was totally successful, according to Professor Afshin Gangi. Kimi will now rest for a few days & he will start his recovery process as early as next week. Everyone at the track and at Enstone wishes him a quick recovery.”
Lotus has placed the #GetWellSoonKimi hashtag on its pair of chassis this weekend.
Meanwhile, Lotus’ reserve driver, Davide Valsecchi, minced no words about his being passed over for Heikki Kovalainen in the last two races of the season.
Speaking with Italian media, in a blog post via English broadcaster James Allen, the 2012 GP2 champion had this to offer:
“It’s a huge blow to me,” he said. “From the sporting point of view it’s a tragedy. It makes me angry to have lost the battle with Kovalainen who is not a great champion, not even an active driver; his last results were five years ago. If they had taken Hulkenberg I could have understood, even Maldonado, but this…”
Not only has Valsecchi been glossed over from a reserve driver standpoint, but also from an Italian driver standpoint. The sport hasn’t had one since Jarno Trulli’s hasty departure from Caterham a fortnight before the 2012 season, and along with other GP2 stars Giorgio Pantano and Luca Filippi, there has not been a new Italian driver to make his debut since Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2005 with Red Bull.