F1: Kimi Raikkonen to race short wheelbase Lotus E21 at COTA

The troubled Finn will race the same short wheelbase version of the Lotus E21 he drove recently at the Yas Marina Circuit, next week when F1 visits the Circuit of the Americas.

At the bottom of his performance slump, during which he was outperformed four times by teammate Romain Grosjean, Raikkonen threatened to skip the last two grands prix of the season because he has yet to be paid this season.

But on the back of a new two-race deal with Lotus, he decided to race after all.

And it now appears it will be at the wheel of the short wheelbase E21, the same car he drove at the beginning of the season, when he was outpacing Grosjean, and in Abu Dhabi last week.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen (Photo: Lotus F1 Team)

“It has a better feeling for me and seems to make it easier for me to get more of what I want from the car,” Raikkonen explained. “We’ve been trying to get rid of understeer to get the car more as I want it and the shorter car helps with this.”

Regarding the relationship within the team, Lotus boss Eric Boullier and owner Gerard Lopez are adamant everything is good.

“He is completely on side,” Boullier confirmed, referring to the Finn after an intense weekend of negotiations in Abu Dhabi.

“The only reason we are fighting for second in the world championship is because of all the points that Kimi scored,” added Lopez. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure (we) can continue to fight right up until the checkered flag in Brazil.”

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