Lotus says no to Raikkonen's rally request

By on Friday, May 25, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen

Lotus has refused Kimi Raikkonen permission to contest this year's Rally Finland.

The Finn, who returned to Formula One in 2012 after two years in world rallying, admitted this week he wanted to do the Finnish rally in August but "you'll have to ask the team if it fits in my contract".

"Contractually he cannot do it. End of story," Lotus team boss Eric Boullier told Reuters in Monaco.

Boullier admitted the fact the Enstone based team's former regular driver, Robert Kubica, was seriously injured in a rally shunt was a factor in his decision.

"Obviously there is a trauma here after 2011...rally, skiing, jumping is not allowed."

When pointed out that Raikkonen hurt his wrist during a snowmobile race after signing his 2012 contract, Boullier explained: "He started to race for us in 2012, not 2011, so he was (still) under contract with another brand (then)."

Raikkonen, however, admitted he still enjoys the team atmosphere at Lotus.

"Here I am able to do my own thing, to live a normal life like other people," he is quoted by DPA news agency.

"Of course they expect certain things from me, but I don't need to be working 24 hours a day. Freedom is important -- no one wants to be in prison.

"The most important thing is that what I am doing makes me happy."

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