Formula 1

Kimi Raikkonen still owed money by Lotus

Raikkonen officially returned to Ferrari. (©GettyImages)
Raikkonen officially returned to Ferrari. (©GettyImages).

The struggling Lotus team have admitted they are still behind on payments to former driver Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn missed the final two races of the 2013 season as he underwent back surgery ahead of his move back to Ferrari for 2014 with many believing an unpaid salary was Kimi's motivation.

Indeed before he left he revealed he had not been paid "one euro" throughout 2013 adding that he was close to not travelling to what would eventually be his final race in Abu Dhabi.

"I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having," Raikkonen said at the time.

His replacement for next year was confirmed as Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who is strongly backed by his country's oil giant PDVSA and it was believed his backing would help ease the financial strain at Lotus and pay off Raikkonen.

However, as the saga over whether a consortium known as Quantum Racing will invest in the team, current owner Gerard Lopez admits the Finn is still owed money.

Asked if Lotus has paid Raikkonen in full, he is quoted by Finland's MTV3: "Not entirely.

"Some of it, yes, we reached an agreement on the payment in Abu Dhabi," added Lopez.

It is reported that despite the money from Maldonado, Lotus remains heavily in debt with employees and suppliers also unpaid.

Lopez acknowledged: "There have been delays. But the amounts that I have heard (in the media) are completely ridiculous.

"I will not go into detail, other than to say that the amounts we owe are not big. We will pay, just as we always have done," he added.

Meanwhile Raikkonen has officially returned to Ferrari after visiting their Maranello factory on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old met with his team for 2014 including his new race engineer Antonio Spagnolo.

That announcement almost confirms Felipe Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley is leaving the team to stay with Massa at Williams.

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