Kimi Räikkönen will reassess the extent of his back troubles at next weekend’s Korean Grand Prix before making a final decision on whether he will be fit enough to compete in Sunday’s race.
The Finn was plagued by a recurrent back injury during last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix – an injury that dates back to his debut F1 season in 2001, courtesy of a testing accident – which left him in considerable pain and off-the-pace in qualifying, where he lined up thirteenth-fastest.
However, some overnight treatment and an excellent tyre strategy saw the 2007 World Champion tiger through the field on Sunday night’s race, earning him a podium finish a plenty of praise in the F1 paddock.
The 33-year-old confirmed this weekend that he was feeling much better in the days following the race, but added that he wasn’t completely out of the woods.
“It’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good,” he said.
“The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish.
“We will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.”
Räikkönen’s long-standing trainer, Mark Arnall, was rather more optimistic about his star driver’s prospects, telling Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat: “Kimi will be back in full running order next week in Korea.”
Should Räikkönen elect to withdraw from the event, he will have to do so ahead of Saturday’s final practice session in order for Lotus to substitute him with its back-up drivers, Jérôme d’Ambrosio or Davide Valsecchi – the former had a one-off outing with the team at last year’s Italian Grand Prix in place of Romain Grosjean, who had been hit with a one-race ban.
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