Kimi Räikkönen was forced to cancel his scheduled media activities on the Thursday of the Belgian Grand Prix, with the Lotus F1 team confirming that he is suffering the effects of an unspecified illness.

Räikkönen – who is as famous for his aversion to any interaction with the F1 press as he is for his love of partying – has been the centre of intense speculation about which team he will be driving for next year, with Red Bull Racing and Lotus seemingly engaged in a bidding war for his services.

A switch to the Milton Keynes team was ruled out earlier this week by his manager Steve Robertson – which would effectively pave the way for Daniel Ricciardo to move into top spot to claim the seat – but this has seemingly been refuted by team principal Christian Horner, who yesterday suggested that Räikkönen was still very much in the team’s sights.

Speculation and illness aside, Lotus confirmed that the 2007 World Champion will be fit enough to drive in Friday’s two practice sessions at Spa-Francorchamps. The first practice session begins at 11:00am local time (UTC +2).

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.