The Finn, who was absent from the paddock on Thursday, revealed that he hasn’t been paid all year. He also admitted that he came close to not racing this weekend and only travelled to Abu Dhabi because an understanding between himself and the team has been made.
Talking to media in the Yas Marina Circuit paddock he said: “I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having. Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.”
The Finn, who will leave the team at the end of the season to return to Ferrari, was also asked if he would contemplate not competing in the final two races if the issues surrounding his payment are not resolved. “For sure,” he replied. “I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business. Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation.
“You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that… it is not really my fault any more.”
His relationship with the team has soured over the course of the season. The radio exchange in India, when he was ordered to let team-mate Romain Grosjean past by Alan Permane, hasn’t helped.
However, it hasn’t been the main issue: “It is a part of it. It is true those things should not happen but they have happened. That is not really the issue. It is all the other stuff, and all the things come together in the end. Like I said, it is easy to say that is the reason but it is not that.”
The 2007 world champion is also frustrated by the questioning of his loyalty to the team at a time when he isn’t actually being paid. “Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don’t have the interests of the team [at heart] – but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year,” he said.
“It doesn’t put you in the best place, but that is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues, and try to finish as well as we can.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic