Raikkonen relegated to back of Abu Dhabi grid

02 Nov 2013 20:46

Kimi Raikkonen's troubled weekend continued on Saturday when he was relegated to the back of the grid for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Finn, who had finished fifth fastest in qualifying, was excluded from the timesheets after his Lotus failed a technical test.

Raikkonen has been at the centre of controversy when he threatened to boycott the race after claiming he had not been paid this year.

The Ferrari-bound Finn's car was judged not to conform to the sport's technical regulations after a 'front floor deflection' test, a setback that kept him at the centre of a whirlpool of speculation at the Yas Marina Circuit.

After a lengthy meeting with team representatives, the race stewards said they did not accept the Lotus explanation that the floor had been broken due to impact with the kerbs at the spectacular state-of-the-art track.

Raikkoen's times in qualifying were excluded, adding to the furore that has surrounded him and Lotus since he arrived late at the circuit on Friday morning.

On Friday evening, he made clear he was prepared to boycott the final two races of the season in the United States and Brazil because he has not yet been paid by the team this year.

He is reportedly owed more than 15 million euros.

In a statement, the sport's ruling body the International Motoring Federation (FIA) said: "The stewards heard the explanation of the team that the relevant part broke upon contact with a kerb.

"However, the stewards did not accept that the incident referred to constituted an accident, or excused failing the relevant test."

Lotus used the same excuse for a similar problem when Raikkonen's team-mate Frenchman Romain Grosjean's car failed a technical test.

The stewards, it was suggested, accepted the excuse once, but believed the car should have been modified to prevent a repeat.

Raikkonen and Lotus were among the closest challengers to champions Red Bull who dominated qualifying earlier on Saturday with Australian Mark Webber taking pole ahead of team-mate and newly crowned quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.