Confirmed: Raikkonen will miss final two races
© Lotus F1 Team, LAT Photographic
|10 November 2013 by TF1T Staff||Tweet
Kimi Raikkonen will not race in the United States or the season finale in Brazil it has been confirmed.
The Finnish driver will instead undergo back surgery earlier than planned, to ensure it doesn't impact on his preparations with Ferrari for 2014.
Raikkonen had suffered from back pain earlier in the season which almost ruled him out of competing in Singapore, but pain killers and some rest ensured he could take part.
That pain has flared up again according to his manager Steve Robertson who confirmed the news to Autosport.
"In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus in the final two grands prix," he said.
"However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible."
Whether the real reason for him missing the final two races is in fact to do with his back isn't sure, after Raikkonen threatened to boycott the end of the season due to an ongoing pay dispute with Lotus.
That dispute has yet to be resolved and he is yet to be paid his £6.2 million ($10m) salary, though an investment deal with Quantum Motorsport - which is nearing completion - is expected to resolve the problem.
Lotus will now resort to using reserve driver and 2012 GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi or opt for another replacement, which could potentially see Nico Hulkenberg move to the team early.
The Sauber driver earlier terminated his contract with the Swiss team due to salary payments and is therefore free to leave the team when he wishes and is widely expected to be confirmed as Raikkonen's full-time replacement for 2014.