Back surgery to end Kimi's season
Kimi Raikkonen will miss the last two races of the season after deciding to undergo back surgery, according to his manager.
The decision would mean Raikkonen's Lotus career has finished, having agreed to join Ferrari next season. He retired on the opening lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend.
Raikkonen has suffered increasing discomfort in his back in recent weeks, having originally wanted to delay the operation until the season had finished. The injury is linked to an accident he had at the beginning of his F1 career while racing for Sauber but it flared up again over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend this season.
"In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus," Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson told the publication Turun Sanomat. "However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible."
With his surgery scheduled for next week, Raikkonen will miss the United States and Brazil Grands Prix.
Ahead of Abu Dhabi, Raikkonen had threatened to boycott the last two races if an agreement over his missing payments was not stuck to for the rest of the season.
Asked if he would consider holding the threat over the team, he said: "Yeah, for sure. I enjoy racing and I enjoy driving but there's a big part of it that's business and sometimes when that's not dealt with like it should be we end up in unfortunate situations. You have to put the line somewhere and if it goes over that it is not really my fault anymore."
Raikkonen is third in the drivers' table with seven podium finishes this season, including a victory in the opening race in Australia.
2012 GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi is the team's reserve driver and the most logical replacement having tested the car at the Silverstone young driver test and briefly before the start of the season, but Lotus has yet to confirm its plans going forward.