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Raikkonen leaving Lotus over money

ESPN Staff
September 19, 2013 « Felipe Massa: Kimi and Alonso will collide | Kimi was Ferrari's best option - Alonso »
Kimi Raikkonen: "The reason why I left the team is purely from the money side" © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen has revealed that his decision to leave Lotus for Ferrari at the end of the year was motivated by money.

Raikkonen's future has been at the centre of speculation over recent weeks after he was first linked with Red Bull before agreeing terms with Ferrari. Lotus was keen to keep the Finn and said it was close to giving him the reassurances he wanted, but Raikkonen claims missing payments swayed his decision.

"I like to race, that's the only reason why I'm here and it doesn't matter what team it is," he said. "The reasons why [I haven't been paid] you will have to ask from the team, but the reason why I left the team is purely from the money side - the thing is, I haven't got my salary. It's an unfortunate thing but I want to try to help the team as much as I can."

Raikkonen will be pitched against Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2014, leading to speculation that the two world champions could fall out with each other over the course of the season. But Raikkonen believes any differences will be dealt with behind closed doors and will not disrupt the team.

"I don't see the reason why it won't work," he added. "We are old enough to know what we are doing and the team is for sure working for the right things. If there is something I'm sure we can talk it through; it's not like we are 20 years old anymore.

"I might be wrong and time will tell but I'm pretty sure all things will be good. For sure there will be hard fights on the race circuit and sometimes things go wrong, but I'm pretty sure it will be okay."

Raikkonen also dispelled stories that he had not enjoyed his time at Ferrari between 2007 and 2009.

"There are a lot of stories from my past at different teams but it's all from the media," he said. "I don't think you guys work at the different teams so you don't really know what is happening and you write a lot of stuff that is sometimes true and sometimes not. I had a good time and I'm sure we will have a good time together again."