Sorry for the delay. I had to digest and reflect on the events in India before I could decide how to attack this one. So for this edition of my review, I won’t do a rundown of the race as usual. I will touch on what has been the big ‘talkie’ since the race. Yes, even more than Vettels 4th championship. Huge congratulations to him by the way. The superlatives have been used up already. Perhaps that is why some people have grown tired of him. Just like the last time a German broke all the records and won everything that was to win. In Vettels case, I have only admiration for his achievement. And with Newey and the rest of the Red Bull team behind him, I see no reason why they will not be frontrunners next year as well. In spite of regulation changes. Hopefully not as dominant as they are now of course.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. The infamous Lotus team radio message. If you can call it that. I see that the english media is not touching this subject a whole lot. Which is why I have received help from my Finnish correspondant in translating a few articles in the Finnish media that does cover this in further detail. It is always more interesting to get the stories from people that have an incentive to follow something more closely than others. That is where you find the nuggets and usually the correct perspective.
Here is the video of the exchange between Alan Permane and Kimi Raikkonen:
Permane: Kimi, get out of the fucking way!
Kimi: Don’t shout there fucker! I get out of the way when I have a chance, but not during fast corner.
Some people have tried to marginalize, excuse and play down the way Mr. Permane behaved on the radio. To those people I say, you really have no frickin’ clue what you are talking about. “Oh, but when Kimi does it, it gets on t-shirts and is regarded as funny”. If that is how you view this incident you are either completely clueless or you have a major problem with seeing things in context. Maybe both. Let me sit you down and explain why.
There are drivers and then there is the pitwall. We have all heard drivers giving harsh outbursts, shouting and swearing over the radio during the race. It is normal. They are pumped up on adrenaline and they are trying to drive a tricky car in anger on the track. No wonder they come across as pissed sometimes. The pitwall is expected to be that calm voice, helping and assisting their drivers. Be it focusing, or keeping them updated on other crucial information. They are the calm compared to the storm inside the car.
But here we have a profiled leader within the Lotus team, SHOUTING and swearing from the pitwall to a driver in the middle of a race. Perhaps it has happened in Formula 1 before but I have never heard anything like that in all the years I have followed the sport. Not only is it unprofessional but it is so far out of line that it has left the ballpark. Even if Kimi should have moved over before he did, does not excuse this craziness. Besides, Kimi said that he was going to move over. He just wanted to do it at the right place and not in a fast corner.
Imagine for instance Sam Michael shouting and swearing at Hamilton in Brazil last year now that he was going to Mercedes. Ridiculous right? Yes indeed. In fact McLaren did all they could to try and give Hamilton that last win with them. A stark contrast to the things happening in Lotus at the moment. They were able to do so in spite of having to exclude Hamilton from participating in things regarding next years car.
Anywho. This speaks against any theories that Kimi held up Grosjean for a prolonged period of time. And Massa was never a real threat from behind. From the footage it looked like half a lap behind Kimi at the max. It certainly wasn’t 4 or 5 laps like in Bahrain 2012 or in Germany this year for instance. Those times there was a victory on the line. Not just a 3rd place. Where was the abuse over the radio to Grosjean then? None. Which is good. Because I certainly would not have approved of that either. But the irony is palpable.
It is clear that Permane has a beef with Kimi for some reason. And it came out in the open for all to see once again. We saw this in Singapore when he didn’t even hide that he was not pleased with Kimis drive from 13th to 3rd with backpain. The only thing Permane could say was a sneer that Grosjean was clearly faster and would have had the podium instead of Kimi if not for the DNF. He was also fuming after Korea when Kimi overtook Grosjean when he made a mistake.
Does that justify some fans going apeshit on Twitter and Facebook with abuse and swearwords towards the Lotus team? No, of course not. I detest such behaviour. It’s low-brow and only has the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve. It just stoops them to the level of the person they are criticizing. I understand the frustration and anger because of the blatant unfair treatment that Kimi received. But you will always get a lot further with well-chosen words for your critique.
Having said that, I was tempted to let manners be manners after the race. Only my proper upbringing and many years in the finest private schools saved me from going down the same road as the common riff-raff. So let that be a shining example to you all.. But in all seriousness – it gives Kimi fans a bad name. So please behave is my earnest advice.
The honeymoon between Kimi and Lotus is clearly over. He has still not received his full salary. He has effectively been demoted to 2nd driver. With the number 1 driver having accumulated only about half as many points. And Kimi is still doing his very best to keep scoring for Lotus to the end of the season. Just because he enjoys driving. And now he also has to put up with public scorning over the radio. This is what is known as unprofessional business conduct. Behave like this while running a business and you will quickly run into problems. Disagreements should take place behind closed doors, not in public like this. It hurts the image of the business. Which it certainly already has for Lotus. Kimi is being his diplomatic self to the press after the race:
Lotus realized this and have now issued a statement in the words of Boullier where he apologizes for the outburst on the radio and that it won’t happen again. A good effort but not quite. I personally think it should have come from Permane himself. But he most likely refused to do any such thing when asked. Here is the statement: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/110961
A sad thing that came out after the race was Alan Permane sending these tweets:
It seems I have upset a few people by shouting at Kimi, I can understand the die hard fans not liking it, but I do find it odd that.. Some of them say they want to kill my family because of a telling off. #losers
Ok, that sounds bad. And Permane received a lot of sympathy for these tweets. However, upon further investigation there has so far not been found a single tweet containing death threats to Permane or his family. What was found was some nutcase that repeatedly tweeted “Fuck your family” to Permane. It’s sickening – but it’s not a death treat. Here is a screen shot:
After a while, Permane decided to delete the tweets above. Probably because he was being called out on it and realized his mistake. But some media channels picked this up and have posted articles saying that he DID receive death threats over this. The world apparently will and wants to be deceived.
So what is next? Will we see Kimi in Abu Dhabi? Time will tell. But I think so. The fact is that Kimi only deserves praise for what he has done for Lotus for the past two years. Certainly not abuse over the radio. He has brought them more points than they ever thought possible. So many in fact that they struggle to pay him his points bonuses for 2 years in a row. Not to mention all the fans, publicity and thereby sponsors that is a direct consequence of Kimis entrance into the Lotus team. Sadly for Lotus, this debacle has hurt them and their image more than people think.
Enjoy the short break to Abu Dhabi. Keep smiling. And keep your cool and wits about you. Just like the Iceman. A small bonus here at the end. A friend of mine caught a small exchange between Permane and Kimi after the race. There is no sound. But if you know how Kimi is and how Finns behave in general, it doesn’t take an expert in body language to tell that this is one pissed off Finn. Thanks to Karthik for this footage.
Here is the small collection of the previously mentioned Finnish articles. Once again a big thank you to my translator.
P.S. After you have read those below, there are a couple of follow-ups articles from Salo, Hakkinen and Kimis manager here: https://f1bias.com/2013/10/30/words-from-robertson-and-hakkinen-on-radiogate/
Saari baffled over Permane’s swearing: He crossed the line
Räikkönen admitted in MTV3:s interview, that after his Ferrari-deal was announced some people in the team seemed to change their attitude towards him. Yesterday, Alan Permane ordered Räikkönen to give way by using swearing words. Räikkönen replied by swearing back.
– It’s easy to determine that based upon that discussion they are maybe not best friends, but one shouldn’t draw too many conclusions over that.
– I question his behaviour. It’s one thing to say it firmly than to say it like he did. It lacked respect and I think he crossed the line. I believe Permane as a smart man knows himself that he overreacted once he gets time to calm down. That’s what it’s like and this is not the most serious thing in the world.
“Kimi was not fuming over Grosjean”
– In sport there is an emotional charge which sometimes boils over. It describes certain kinds of things about the current situation, but it’s not the whole picture. Kimi mostly has good relationships with people in the team who are important for him.
– One thing has to be noted; although Grosjean wondered over Kimi’s actions, Kimi wasn’t angry at him. Räikkönen only said that he is racing everyone and I doubt any of this bothers Grosjean in any way.
Räikkönen in transition
Räikkönen didn’t take part in the Lotus team’s photo which was taken in honor of Grosjean’s podium. That describes the situation, Räikkönen has already partly left the team.
– It’s a transition. I don’t think the atmosphere is disturbing in any way, but it’s clear that in a situation like that they sort of exclude the driver. It’s inevitable.
Lewis Hamilton was in a similar position last year when his switch from McLaren to Mercedes was announced at the end of September. He said that suddenly he didn’t get all data at his disposal and he wasn’t invited to all meetings. Saari thinks that Räikkönen’s attitude has been professional all the time and that he has proved that with his driving performances.
– Now he ran out of tyres. Otherwise Kimi would had been on the podium. The only thing he can improve is his driving in qualifying, but it’s been like that the whole time in Lotus.
– If we start to see really bad performances then we can say that his attitude has changed, but he works like a professional. I don’t sit at their lunch table every day listening to what they talk about, but Kimi has seemed to be in a good mood on the outside and I haven’t seen any anxiety on the outside on either sides, Saari said.
Turun Sanomat, Column 27.10.
Kimi Räikkönen is not the only iceman in Lotus anymore. It is becoming more and more apparent from the team management’s orders to Kimi that the emotions have clearly cooled – and even frozen.
Right after Kimi’s Ferrari-deal was announced, Kimi battled himself to 3rd position (from 13th) in Singapore even though he had backpains.
After the race, when I asked Alan Permane in a friendly manner from what he thought about that kind of persistence from a driver who is leaving the team, his reply chilled the atmosphere at once. Permane dismissed the question by saying that everyone could see that Romain Grosjean was faster and that he would have beaten Kimi without the retirement.
In Korea Räikkönen overtook Grosjean and came in 2nd, although the Frenchman cried to get his position back. Eric Boullier said that he knew without asking that Kimi wouldn’t had obeyed him at that point.
Now in India the team management’s language has turned vulgar. Permane snapped when Räikkönen made Grosjean’s overtake so tough – and the driver paid him back the same way…
At least Lotus got what they wanted. Grosjean took a Räikkönen-like 3rd podium while his teammate collected some odd points in the background like in Japan. Lotus caught Ferrari with nine points and the 3rd position is now 24 points away.
Räikkönen’s race was much like his 3rd race in Lotus last year in China. There Kimi tried to hold on with worn tyres in 2nd position ahead of a long train, then when he lost the grip completely the whole row went past him. Räikkönen came in 14th.
At least it didn’t go that bad this time.
It has been boiling between Räikkönen and Lotus for a long time
There was a lot of fuss around Lotus on Sunday in Indian GP after Alan Permane and Kimi Räikkönen cursed to each other on the public team radio. Permane and Räikkönen had a heated argument on the paddock where they apparently shouted things that can’t be printed. Räikkönen was not seen in the Lotus team photo where they celebrated Grosjean’s 3rd podium.
Räikkönen’s comeback to F1 with Lotus has been a significant success story. Out of the big stars only Niki Lauda and Alain Prost have made a successful comebacks to F1 after having a break.
Räikkönen have benefited from Lotus and Lotus has benefited from Räikkönen. Lotus couldn’t however fulfill their obligations. They didn’t pay Räikkönen’s salary in time so it was no wonder that Räikkönen made a contract with Ferrari in summer.
After the summer break, Lotus clearly changed their attitude towards Räikkönen. Earlier the car was being completely suited around Räikkönen, but after the Ferrari-deal the team has concentrated their resources around Romain Grosjean. Räikkönen’s and Grosjean’s driving styles are very different and the one suffers when the other is favoured.
Due to the better treatment in autumn Grosjean has got a lot of self-confidence. At the same time Räikkönen has faded. However, Räikkönen doesn’t obey team orders and the argument on Sunday was only a matter of time.
Lotus is also irritated over Räikkönen revealing that his salaries were delayed. Räikkönen would be free to leave the team immediately because the employer hasn’t kept their commitments. Räikkönen has decided to drive in Lotus for the rest of the season just for the joy of it.
The media awaits with interest for Räikkönen’s arrival to the paddock area in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Sebastian Vettel secured his 4th WDC on Sunday, but Räikkönen probably gets more requests for interviews.
We will wait with excitement to see if Räikkönen and Lotus can make up their argument and if Räikkönen even drives in the season’s last races.
Kimi and Permanes exchange of words continued in the paddock
Kimi Räikkönen and Alan Permane shouted to each other on the team radio in Indian GP. The exchange of words continued on the premises after the race.
French Canal Plus channel F1 commentator Julien Febreau posted a comment on his Twitter-account according to which Räikkönen gave an earful to Permane.
– The exchange of words between Raikkonen and Permane in Lotus premises after the race was brilliant. Kimi was surprisingly convincing, Febreau tweeted.
Permane shouted orders to Räikkönen during the race and he ordered Räikkönen to let Romain Grosjean pass. The exchange of words included lots of swearing words.
– Kimi, get out of the fucking way, Permane shouted on the radio.
– Don’t fucking shout on the radio, Raikkonen answered and said he would let him by when the opportunity comes.
Images © Photo4/motorionline.com, Lotus/LAT, Red Bull/Getty
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any of these photos taken down for any reason.
Fantastic article. There is nothing to add here, you explained everything.
Been waiting for your take on the Lotus F1 team’s Indian GP fiasco, Good read. Shame on these people for treating Kimi like this, a driver who has been solely responsible for the half the revenue the team generates. Only Kimi can handle these kind of difficult situations with such dignity and not creating any rukus. Remember how dealt with Ferrari buy his contract out. Respect
Hi there, nice story, but still I have to disagree with you on some points. Maybe I am retarded or clueless, but I don’t think anything went out of line, at least not as much as most Kimi fans make it to be.
Things were heated, Kimi’s tyres ran out, Romain had engine problems and Massa came close quickly.
Maybe Romain tried to pass on the wrong corner, maybe Kimi should have backed down earlier, I don’t know.
What I do know is that Romain was much quicker then Kimi at that stage, on better tyres, so the team made the right decision to let Romain go.
Also I can understand that when you see your 2 drivers almost connect on a pass, with the other problems in mind, one can lash out a bit.
Somewhere this week Alan and Kimi will have a good talk, like the grown men they are and no harm done.
Further: even if Alan has a grudge against Kimi, I don’t think it is professional to put in public that your salary is not paid (do mind that that should be done on time, fault by Lotus)
Kimi could’ve done 2 things in my opinion:
Keep driving and keep quiet about it,
Stop driving and put the news out there.
I can understand that him telling set some bad blood in the team.
Props to Lotus to put Romain first, he is the one staying, thus the one to benefit from whatever updates or investments there are.
I think this is normal team behaviour.
I am not a driver fan, I am an Enstone fan since the Toleman years.
Still, I like Kimi as a driver and wish him the best in Italy.
Hope they treat him better then in ’09, if people think this is classless, I advise you to read in to that dirty scheme a bit.
If Kimi can return to a team after that, I think he will get over the F-word too.
Well, you are entitled to your opinion but you clearly do not understand the principles of proper conduct of prominent members within a business. The outburst was a disgrace and a black mark on the Enstone teams mantel. And Kimi is probably the person that deserves this kind of abuse the least. Romain was screaming on the radio to his engineer to get Kimi to move way before he caught up. Kimi was not interested in holding Romain up. He just wanted to do it at the right place. But Romain got too eager and tried to pass and jeopardized himself and Kimi in the process.
No one keeps more quiet about things within a team than Kimi. No one. So you are on a completely wrong course here. Fact is that he has been battling to get his salary for 2 years in a row. And when he finally says it like it is, then he is the bad guy. I can only imagine the amount of deadlines that Lotus have had to break over these 2 years. They made a contract with Kimi regarding his salary. They broke that contract, not him.
I have no problem understanding that there is a change when Kimi is leaving regarding the treatment of Romain. It is the despicable way it is done that I have a problem with. Enstone could learn a thing or 10 from how McLaren handled Hamiltons departure. It was 10 times more professional.
Kimi has probably already put this episode behind him. He has a unique skill of living in the present. But that doesnt make what happened okay.
Gladly I work in a management environment where if stuff goes wrong it does not get sugarcoated, but we tell each other like it is. And since we are not kids, we can handle that. Talk it over and be done with it.
As you have read, I think the same way about the salary issues, but first time I heard of that was in an interview with Kimi himself. And I did not say he is the bad guy, just that he opened up the story for the world. That also is not proper conduct within a business in my opinion.
For the McLaren part, Lewis was kept out of the 50 years anniversay.
All McLaren champs where shown, not Lewis. How professional is that towards a driver that was practically born in the McLaren factory?
The only one who treated Lewis like it should be was Withmarsh, like Boullier is still doing with Kimi.
Reading back your blog a bit you seem to have a “grudge” against Romain.
While I can understand some people having doubts over him, he clearly got better this season, outscoring Kimi in the second half of the season.
He was faster, so what is wrong with asking the team to help him move along (with a engine problem and Massa aproaching)
Couple of races back he was faster then Kimi in the end of the race, but Boullier told him to stay behind Kimi, now it was the other way around.
Apart from that, what is there to win for the so-called experts when the say that Romain is fast and getting better? It’s not like Lotus gives out bonusses to every one who praises Romain. (they don’t have the money for that 😉
Bottomline: even guys working in F1 are only human, and every human makes mistakes once in a while. Hearing the conversation and watching the pit video I see 2 grown ups having a dispute, no more, no less.
It’s the Kimi fans that make a huge deal out of this, not the press.
And you know as well as I do the press usually loves to jump on these kind of thing.
Sorry, but I can’t help myself doing this:
You state a point about Kimi saying stuff which gets printed on shirts.
Then you call people who think this is the same situation retards or clueless.
Some point later in your writing you state (quote)
“Only my proper upbringing and many years in the finest private schools saved me from going down the same road as the common riff-raff”
You are not exactly making a good example then, it’s a bit abusive to people with a mental handicap.
You make a fair point, Rene. I have edited that part of the text to a more politically correct expression. Thank you.
If Permane wanted to shout at somebody – Grogro was a perfect candidate. Diving on the outside of the car that you absolutely know has shot tires and no brakes – is stupid.
Somehow nobody actually looking at the attempted pass. Probably because fota does a good job keeping it off youtube.
But I found it anyway.
When you really look at it again… It’s puzzling to me how people who seem to be following F1 for years, still can not understand the race physics. It’s absolutely clear that Kimi was not in full control of the car at that moment. He was fishtailing at every corner for sometime. And what strategy Grogro pics to go around him? Outside. Where car with shot tires will slide to.
Kimi was not forcing anybody off the track . He was simply trying to make the turn. With shot tires, no breaks it’s simply impossible to give the young, eager and stupid rookie enough space at will. His car was not turning and he even slid at the end, trying to avoid Grogro.
As for the salary – don’t know about other people, may be some people like to be f***d, but when somebody is not paying what he owes to me – I feel no obligation to keep quiet and smile. Keeping quiet when getting abused – is victims psychology.
Or turn that around: why did Kimi took that corner the fastest he could, knowing he would slide and knowing Romain was coming? Endless discussion right?
About respect: no one can shout at Kimi (regardless of it was accounted for or not) but you and loads of other Kimi fans start with name calling from the get go on Facebook, calling Romain a stupid rookie, Crashjean, refusing to use his name and so on.
How can someone demand respect but put down another person in the same sentence?
For your info, a rookie is someone in his first season, Romain did 1 and a half already, not counting 2013 😉
If Kimi felt abused by not getting paid why did he continu to drive?
I know I would have quit, no pay, no work gets done.
Maybe people should respect Kimi’s judgement in this, just as they should regarding his dispute with Permane…
Good luck with the Italian hotheads next season, my advice is to stay away from the Ferrari forums if you can’t cope with negative words towards Kimi.
(but I hope that he will drive circles around Alonso)
Thanks for that clip Vlad. It might have to be this kind of quality for FOM to leave it alone.
the problem is that he is going back to people who didn’t treat him right, see 2008: ferrari clearly wanted massa to win wdc instead of kimi who was wdc champion in 2007. is that a respectful attitude towards a wdc champion?no
ferrari is owned by santander…I don’t see a brilliant future in the marriage between kimi and ferrari. maybe a seat in mclaren was better for kimi. mclaren let their driver free to drive: perez and jenson, jenson and lewis, alonso and lewis(in some way), kimi and juan pablo, mika and david.
ferrari would fire kimi on the spot if incidents like that in india happened in their team.
fans have clearly forgotten what happened in the past at ferrari. do u think ferrari has changed attitude?no. I’m italian and I can tell u that kimi has chosen to complicate his life with another crybaby(alonso) and a team who can’t handle things like a driver disobeying to team orders.
we’ll see next year. two options if ferrari has a very competitive car: alonso will leave the team or kimi will leave it. future will tell us.
ps lotus clearly did wrong from towards kimi in india.
I hope, but it’s more of a dream, to see a different couple in ferrari: kimi/hulkenberg, kimi/jenson, kimi/nico(rosberg), kimi/lewis. without politics.
I do hope Kimi manages to get in front of Fernando pretty quick, otherwise it is going to be a long and difficult season for our Finnish friend.
And since Fernando has had a couple of years to build the team around him, it’s going to be hard enough anyway.
santander backs fernando. santander is the main ferrari sponsor…do u think ferrari will easily prefer who? in my opinion, going back to ferrari was a bad choice. I would have cried to get back to mclaren instead with jenson or any other driver. maybe the car won’t be competitive, maybe some millions less but end my career with dignity, not risking to be number two driver like webber is. u know, everybody out there is saying “thanks god kimi decided to sign with ferrari”…they don’t get that there’s a strong possibility he will be treated even badly than he was in lotus. so permane’s words are wrong, but this is nothing compared to ferrari putting massa ahead of kimi for one season and firing him in 2009 for a sponsor and a driver who was(and in my opinion is) slower than kimi and less naturally gifted, despite being one of the best. sad that f1 isn’t about pure, natural talent, but all about money. we have seen hulk struggling to have a seat since his debut and people with money and sponsors having their way paved and their seat secured. nothing more to say.
Lisa, Did we all missed the McLaren’s offer to Kimi that Kimi turned down? If not, then what McLaren seat you are talking about? Or just mixing reality with fantasy?
When Kimi left Ferrari, Ferrari needed Alonso and his bank. They paid Kimi to go and try rally. This year Kimi knows that Lotus is in bad bad shape for next year. Boulier is announcing that they’ll consider paying driver – you know what that means, right? So Kimi picks the team with a lot of money and, historically, the best prospects for a ground breaking year like 2014. Kimi is always on the top. Always the smartest. Don’t see any reason for worries.
read what I wrote and don’t always try to find a critique against kimi. this was just an opinion. period.
Mclaren and Robertson had some talks but nothing happened and the reasons, as always, arent clear but there were some talks that newspapers reported and everybody knows that Whitmarsh is a big kimi fan.
santander won’t be happy if kimi is faster than alonso and ferrari won’t do anything to unplease their rich sponsor. face reality and open your eyes.
no need to worry?we’ll see next year if the car is competitive. if it’s a dog then no problem. I’m really astonished that people still believe the tale “ferrari will let their drivers compete”….never happened in the whole history because is well known that ferrari puts their interest as a team before the drivers and has always had first and second driver.
lotus is in bad shape and isn’t paying, that’s true. kimi did an obvious move but also a bold one. “ferrari needed his bank”..sorry, a sport shouldn’t be based upon interests and money. so why do u complain about pay drivers if u justify things like that? furthermore ferrari strongly wanted massa to succeed in 2008 because he had influent management and ferrari had interests in Brazil car market. maybe I’m idealist but such things simply disgust me.
kimi has always impressed me for his speed and racecraft abilities, but no doubt he wasn’t born to race in this era and, what is more, he doesn’t have the same pr abilities of other drivers. sadly we have seen how some words can be more important than results.
if kimi hadn’t said “I left because of money” maybe lotus would have been more grateful to him.
even more sadly, that fact started a chain of stupid revenges from lotus. “kimi would have been forgotten without us” ” romain was faster than kimi”
do u think alonso or hamilton would have said “I left because of money”….no, because they are less spontaneous and think more about their own interests. In Italy journalists have written terrible, untrue tand stupid hings about kimi during his career and the simple and only reason is that he doesn’t like to speak with the media and they get their small revenge writing such hilarious things. things like “alcohol abuse”, “kimi is hugely ovverrated” “lotus is number one car with rbr” ” alonso or hamilton would have won 15 races with lotus” , “kimi doesn’t like to work and help engeneers in developing the car” and other amenities. maybe u don’t read italian websites, but the majority of the italian press is waiting for alonso to destroy kimi. good for u to know in advance.
I don’t care what they say, but I’ve never heard such bad things from the press regarding alonso or hamilton. you get what I’m saying? do good pr and media relations and they will work for u, more than a superb drive. sad but true.
Great article, as always! Just wish you’d dig a little more into this attempted pass. A lot of people still confused about it. Thinking that Kimi was fighting Grogro, and pushing him off the track… See more in my comment and video above.
FYI and regarding my answer to you, I don’t think Kimi pushed Romain wide on purpose.
Just to be clear.
Nice piece, Soren. I think it’s plain to see that Lotus have shut Kimi out ever since he announced his departure to Ferrari and confirmed what Bouiller had already said – the team hadn’t fully paid him.
Permane’s outburst did nothing to help the team at a time when they are trying to put together a budget for next season. Lotus already faced an uphill struggle in that regard, given that their most marketable asset will be at Ferrari next season, and I don’t think too many would-be sponsors would be impressed by that radio message on Sunday.
Grosjean’s drive was hardly from the same drawer as one of Kimi’s vintage drives: Kimi at least passes people (usually outwith the DRS zones) on his way through the field. Grosjean didn’t exactly cut a swathe through the field; indeed, he made a right mess of trying to pass his grip-limited team-mate. For me, that was typical Grosjean – fast he may be, but his racecraft is sadly lacking.
Kimi, of course, shouldn’t have been in the position that he found himself on Sunday afternoon. Lotus delayed in bringing him in for his first stop. It was obvious after 4 or 5 laps that his soft tyres (a scrubbed set, unlike Grosjean’s new set) had gone off and he was losing time. Indeed, Lotus should in any event have brought him in early to get the undercut on Hulkenberg. They didn’t, and he found himself stuck behind Hulkenberg later on – the Lotus is no match for a Sauber in straight line, even with DRS activated. More time was lost and, just as significantly, following the Sauber took its toll on the front tyres. Lotus then compounded this error by leaving him out too long on his second set of tyres, to a point where he became easy prey for Grosjean and Massa. A sensible strategy could have seen Kimi finish seocnd or third and Grosjean fourth. They may yet rue those lost points.
As for Mr. Permane, let’s just say that his energy might better be directed at sorting out his team’s tendency to commit strategic cluster****s.
Cheers Eric. I pretty much agree on all points. I did not cover the race in detail this time so thanks for that. I would rather they brought Kimi in with 10 laps to go and then see what he could have done on fresh tires with those ahead of him. That would have been a lot better to watch and it would almost certain have given him at least as good a position as the one he got on Sunday..
I do recall you and I discussing this very topic before: Permane.
It’s been clear for some time that he has a personal grudge. However it shows a particular weakness of character when you can’t keep your personal dislikes/prejudices under control.
Even if he didn’t go to Oxford like you, self control is essential in his job. That is the big surprise.
But I’m baffled by Eric’s apology. Who is it to? To apologise to fans on behalf of the team is not an apology to Kimi.
Then the announcement that he will hold talks with both drivers….. Lotus need to stop this issue being a talking point and that will not do it. They do not seem to know how to get out of this totally self inflicted and unnecessary ….. what’s the word I’m after? Ah yes. ****hole.
Sorry. I didn’t go to Oxford either!
Skoll and good luck for Abu D.
Haha. Yes indeed John. And well put. Alan Permane seems very immature. I can say that because this is hardly a one time thing now. His tweets about fictional death threats only underlines this. Its not nice to get abuse on Twitter but one wonders if he had an ulterior motive because the support was flooding in after that. People that cursed Kimi fans that all of a sudden had become monsters.
It’s a sad story of a match made in heaven with Lotus and Kimi that has now gone down the tubes. Even Ferrari and Kimi is looking mighty good in my eyes right about now.
And it’s Stanford by the way 😉 Skål!
I have come across very few people that got about their business with the honesty that Kimi does which is why I have always been a huge fan of his.
You have summed up the whole thing beautifully. My sentiments exactly. Nothing much to add there.
But I have to say it is not surprising to see Lotus behaving this way. They have done this with pretty much every driver they parted with. With Kubica, they milked all the sympathy for his accident. Then when it became obvious that he was not coming back and probably would have stayed with even if had remained, their attitude towards him completely changed. Worst of all was their treament of Heidfeld. They destroyed his reputation and made him the scapegoat after giving him a flawed car from which he had to bail repeatedly as it went up in flames. They even tried to get away with not paying what was due to him according to his contract. The poor guy had to turn up at the next race after he was fired, I guess on advice of his lawyers to get his dues which he did without creating the minimum of fuss. Even Petrov was treated badly after they decided they would not keep at the end of season. They got away with all this because these were lower profile drivers. Now with Kimi they are getting the what they deserve.
Also I find it ridiculous to hear people saying it was unprofessional of Kimi to reveal he had not been paid. First of all it was common knowledge. What is actually unprofessional is not paying dues on time as a business. If Lotus continuously are displaying the same tardiness with a big company or a bank they would be taken to court and slapped with winding up petitions or demands to file for bankruptcy. And it was not like Kimi was shouting from the rooftops. All he did was answer what he was asked honestly.
Regarding the backlash on social media, I feel it is entirely well deserved. While like you said, some people are overstepping the line, most people are making their point without resorting to foul language or abuse. The sentiment however is the same.
Boullier said that Kimi has become more popular because of Lotus and that if Lotus had not given him a chance to comeback, he would already be forgotten. Now it should be obvious to them from their own fanpage who is popular because of whom (or was ).
Great post, FastLane. It is very interesting that you are bringing the past of the Lotus/Renault team up. I have seen numerous old articles being dug up today. With very critical comments from Petrov and Heidfeld. Articles that I didn’t that much attention to back then. But in light of the past couple of months it seems the pieces are beginning to fit the puzzle. It’s clearly a symptom of this team and it is not pretty. But they are finding out that Kimi (and his fanbase) are a whole other ballgame.
You may have seen this. But here is one of the articles I am talking about: http://rt.com/sport/motorsports/petrov-lotus-renault-tactics-f1-533/
I respect your view, but how can the financial insights of Lotus be common knowledge? That would be the same as you knowing my actual balance.
For that to get common knowledge someone had to tell it to press.
Whoever did that (Kimi, another employee) is not being fair.
What would your employer do if you leaked info like that, which could financially hurt the company?
And please understand, not paying someone his dues is extremely bad.
But I really think he should
-Kept quiet and solve it indoors
-Put it out to the world and let Valsecci drive the remainder of the season.
Just my 2 cents..
Boullier himself had admitted to the financial troubles and that Kimi in fact hadn’t been paid since december many months earlier. Kimi revealed nothing new. Is Boullier now the bad guy?
Also interesting to see you contesting every single post here, rather transparent when it’s all coming from the same, French username.
Rene, are you on the wind up? Lotus F1’s financial woes were in the public domain long before Kimi said he hadn’t been paid.
Lotus F1’s last set of accounts (for the year to 31 December 2012) showed a £56,000,000 LOSS. Don’t take my word for it, though, see here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/f1news/10081762/Lotus-F1s-56m-loss-is-motorsports-biggest.html
Genii may have deep pockets, but a loss of that magnitude is unsustainable for any business of that size.
Moreover, it was widely reported last season that Lotus were behind with payments to Raikkonen. The situation was repeated this year. How do we know this? Because Bouiller said so in July, some two months before Raikkonen’s deal with Ferrari was announced.
Next time do some research. You’ll look a lot less stupid that way.
If he has not been paid, he is well within his right to reveal it. Even so he only answered a question he was asked honestly and even qualified his statement by saying that he understood their situation and would try to help them to the extent he could. What more can he do. Like others have said it is already said above well know that Lotus were behind with their dues to employees and suppliers alike and any claim to the contrary is ridiculous.
If an organization feels that such information hurts their image and their business then they should n’t get themselves in the situation in the first place. It is not some trade secret which the organization has proprietary right over.
The kind of subservience to one’s employer you are demanding is a personal choice and definitely not a prerequisite to professional conduct as you claim. Neither does the fact that an employer may abuse its power to make such demands from the average employee make it so. Anyway Kimi due to his specialized skills which are very much in demand is not your average employee and Lotus has no such sway over him. The fact that he has not made a big deal over this is just a courtesy he has extended to them.
Eric, why the hostility and name-calling? I’m not on a wind-up, neither bad mouthing.
What I am saying (multiple times now) is that no one can see anything about payments on the financial stat you provided. And (again…) the fact that his salary has not been paid is a very bad thing.
Fact is that rumours where going around, but nothing was sure untill Kimi (as far as I recall) came out with that news and Boullier confirmed it.
Also (again…) I’m not here to defend the team, just here to start an open discussion.
If the point of this blog is to ram your own visions home without room for another view on things, it’s maybe better to make it members only?
Very true, which comes to my former conclusion that that fact may have started the fall-out between some members of the team management and Kimi.
I am not saying that that is a good thing (far from it even) but I can understand where it comes from.
Job for Boullier to sort it out for the last couple of races and keep his track managers in hand.
The chart in the above link clearly shows that a two-stop strategy was by far the best for Kimi. From it, you can notice that Kimi’s lap times start dropping steadily from lap 45 (which is when you get the first hint that the tyres are starting to wear off) and then on lap 54, the tyres hit the cliff and reached the point of no return.
Now, during laps 42 and 43 (right before his lap times began to fade), he had a gap of 9 seconds to Rosberg, 14 to Grosjean, 17 to Massa and Hamilton, 20 to Perez and 25 to Hulkenberg. if Kimi had pitted at the end of lap 43, then he would have tyres 9 laps newer than Perez, 13 newer than Massa and Hamilton, and 29 newer than Grosjean. He would have rejoined ahead of Hulkenberg, and about 2 seconds behind Perez (a pitstop in India takes 22 seconds).
On newer tyres, he would have certainly caught Perez within 3-4 laps. I am not sure if he would have passed Perez immediately because Perez’s car is rapid down the straight and Kimi’s isn’t (if you look at the chart, Kimi himself got stuck behind Hulkenberg for over 12 laps despite catching him rapidly between laps 11-17, and Alonso couldn’t pass Ricciardo for the last 14 laps despite going over 1 second a lap quicker till he caught him).
We would never know for sure if he would have been able to pass Perez. If he was unable to pass Perez, he would have finished 6th (he would have followed Perez past Hamilton at the end). But, if he did pass Perez, he would probably have taken another 3 or 4 laps to join Hamilton and Massa. On lap 55, Hamilton’s tyres started to wear out, he started to struggle and he lost the DRS from Massa. Kimi would probably have passed him on that lap or the one after. Another look at the chart shows that Grosjean’s and Massa’s lap times also drop off during the last 3 laps (even though it was not to extent of Hamilton) and that Perez took 3 seconds out of them in the 2 clear laps he got after passing Hamilton. Thus he would have certainly caught atleast Massa and passed him, and quite likely even Grosjean and got a 3rd.
Which of course Lotus did not want as they wanted their golden boy Groggy to get 3rd. It was clear to all that the best strategy would be to pit Kimi on lap 43 or 44…. but Lotus wanted Grosjean to get more points, so they did not want to pit Kimi such that he would rejoin around 7 seconds behind Grosjean with 30 lap newer tyres, so they left Kimi to do a 53 lap stint, a strategy that was so obviously never going to work.
From the same website. Kimi’s own opinion on his strategy.
wrong… just press blabla
he was struggling since round 28! He wanted to have new tyres!
If I read the chart correctly, his laptimes dropped steadily from lap 45. Can you share a link or something that he was struggling since lap 28? Just curious here.
I can tell already Kimi is gonna have to work for another win this season.
No one is going to get a win this season unless Vettel’s car fails (or is taken out by Crashjean LOL)!
Lotus should thank Kimi for just saying they didn’t pay his salary. Kimi could tell more nasty things about the team but being a great man as he always be, he only reveal about the salary. Unprofessional way to manage the team Permane, Well done, now you have tons of fans cursing you. Permane never race like Kimi, how dare he shout at Kimi like he know what’s going on the track.
@Thomas my first name yes, my last name is not French. I’m from the Netherlands.
What you see as contesting is (for me) trying to start an open discussion and seeing things from a different view.
The problem (here as well as on Facebook) is that most Kimi fans see everything other then their view as an attack on Kimi.
Please read my other posts and then judge again.
Boullier came with his statement after I read it in an interview with Kimi.
Could be that another team member leaked that info, rumours where out there, so I don’t know.
Everything in life has 2 sides, and since we are not there when Kimi and the team have their talks, we simply do not know what happend or not.
Rene, I’m still trying to understand what your point is. All you’ve done is passive-aggressively try to take apart others’ points without actually putting any of your own concrete opinion forward. Perhaps this is why you’re facing hostility, not because of some Kimi-centric fanaticism. If you want a discussion, put your own arguments forward.
And for the record, Kimi’s salary has been in the news long before this year. His payment was delayed last year as well and Gerard Lopez confirmed this. The media reported the story long before his signing to Ferrari. He made the salary comments AFTER he signed with Ferrari by which time it was common knowledge Lotus had money problems. Whether he was right or wrong to do this is besides the point. It does NOT justify why Lotus is behaving like a jilted ex girlfriend.
imagine a scenario where this happens to Hamilton or Alonso. The righteous indignation would destroy the internet!
Thanks for the straight answer. I think I made my opinion clear in my very first post:
A whole lot of fuss about nothing.
Over the top fall-outs on Facebook and Twitter because loads of people take a lashing-out against a driver personal.
I too think Kimi should’ve moved over faster in this situation and although the way that was “communicated” could have been different, I can’t see any harm done. Permane and Kimi are not kids anymore, they will fix their issues.
The salary part is bad, but if Kimi can accept that why can’t the fans? Trust Kimi’s judgement then.
If he is really angry I expect to see another driver in his car coming race.
The press usually loves a situation like this, excellent stuff to write about.
But I’ve read 1 very short article about this, so how bad is it really?
Respect towards a driver:
Say a negative thing about Kimi, your head gets bitten off, but nobody here can type Grosjean’s name in a normal way.
Where is the respect in that?
Even if the team puts Romain first (not totally weird since Kimi is leaving) that is a management choice, not Romain’s.
Again, I don’t care who they put in that car, I am a fan of the team.
Last driver I supported was Senna.
Bottom line: people make all kinds of assumptions based on nothing.
We are not there on the pitwall, box or management/driver meetings.
Regarding the Petrov/Heidfeld era:
I don’t know if you where around on the LRGP blog back then, but the team got bashed, also in the press. Don’t see any bad press now, only angry fans.
Most I typed above you can read in my other posts here too.
I like your PR work Rene. You are doing a good job for Lotus. I hope they pay your salary as a PR consultant. Keep the good work up and see you at another site. Cheers.
Lotus is almost nothing without Kimi, that’s for sure. We will see next year!
When working with true professionals despite the area, it all completes in perfection with small details. Thats how you recognize true professional. Even under pressure or in difficult situations focus wont be lost.
Ferrari:” Fernando is faster than you”
Lotus: “..get out of the fucking way!”
I think this is only the tip of the iceberg, who knows how much damage Permane has already done to team,sponsors,funding and most importantly to the future of the Lotus.
After Kimi is gone, hard reality steps in. With less sponsor money is hard to stay in top 5 manufacturers. Also we have seen what happens when Grosjean have to drive under pressure. That gives me the conclusion for Lotus 2014.
Podium says :”Bye bye Lotus.”
BTW…thx 4 great article…
I am one who defends sportsman outbursts of frustration, there of course is a line. i defend them because I am that type of person when i am playing sport. I get frustrated. I can imagine that the tension and adrenaline is very high on the pit wall, whilst they have to remain professional on the pit wall (isn’t that a sportmans job as well?) an outburst is something that can regrettably happen. To be perfectly honest if I was Kimi I would have reacted angrily to such a message, but I may have also transmitted such a message then tried to patch things up once I calmed down myself.
However, the stories you tell do have me doubting Permane’s professionalism
This one in particular
“After the race, when I asked Alan Permane in a friendly manner from what he thought about that kind of persistence from a driver who is leaving the team, his reply chilled the atmosphere at once. Permane dismissed the question by saying that everyone could see that Romain Grosjean was faster and that he would have beaten Kimi without the retirement.”
He is correct, Grosjean would have beaten Kimi, but he dismisses Kimi’s superb performance that race.
I like Kimi, respect him, his no bullshit attitude, but their are a lot of fans boys here. The Grosjean bashing is unfair.
Update: Kimi has declared he has been paid zero euro the whole year.
Kimi’s car has been excluded from qualifying in Abu Dhabi.
Kimi had beaten the SWISS (Grosjean) in Qualification. Now he is going to star from the back of the grid.
Lotus is not a serious F1 Team, not anymore.