“I have left the team purely from the money side as I haven’t got my salary” – How Kimi Raikkonen’s former team almost went bankrupt due to his stellar performances….


Kimi Raikkonen spent two-year at Lotus and it led to him being unpaid for over a year and the team almost filing for bankruptcy.



Kimi Raikkonen took a break from his Formula One career at the end of 2009. He went on to compete in rallying and also made notable appearances with NASCAR.




Back in 2012, he signed up with Lotus on a two-year contract. Much to everyone’s surprise, this team had nothing in common with the historical title-winning team.




Let us read as Raikkonen’s exceptional performance led to the team Lotus almost filing for bankruptcy.

Kimi Raikkonen sure knew what he was doing

Veteran Kimi Raikkonen was looking to make his return in F1 alongside rookie Roman Grosjean. The duo was an exciting-looking pairing much to the team’s surprise who expected their car to be finishing outside the points more often than not.


Raikkonen went on to score 390 points across two years in Lotus. He secured two race victories and 13 podiums in a rather overachieving car.




Every F1 fan knows the Kimi comment ‘leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.’ This comment was also made at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


50k Bonus for every championship point scored

F1 driver’s contract details are confidential. The drivers earn plenty of incentives over their base salary as well. Kimi also had an incentive clause in his contract just like every other driver.


However, what differs is how lightly the team thought of their car and Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish international scored while driving for Ferrari scored 123 points in his two years tenure with the team.




Lotus’ team boss Gérard Lopéz assumed that the tally of 123 points will not be broken by Raikkonen again. Keeping this into consideration, the team decided to pay the Iceman  €50,000  bonus for each world championship point scored.


Surviving without a season’s salary

Raikkonen scored 207 points in his first season with Lotus. The team had to pay him a whopping €10,350,000 over the base salary.
Meanwhile, in his second year with the team, he scored a total of 183 points. Lotus had to pay the Finnish around €19.5 million which they were unable to as they had to secure further investments.

The 2007 World Champion joined Ferrari after two years with Lotus after revealing to the public that Lotus owed him money. He said: “But the reason I have left the team [Lotus] is purely from the money side. I haven’t got my salary.”

He further added: “Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear you are not really a team player and you don’t have the interests of the team. But in reality, you have been paid zero euros the whole year.”



Kimi would eventually go on to join Ferrari marking an end to his Lotus career. Meanwhile, the Renault group purchased by the end of 2015 and announced their return to the sport for the 2016 season.







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