Kimi Raikkonen hurts wrist in snowmobile crash
Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen injures his hand in crash in a snowmobile race but Lotus say the Finn is not seriously hurt
Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen has played down an injury to his wrist after crashing in a snowmobile race in Austria on Saturday.
The 32-year-old, who will return to Formula 1 in 2012 with Lotus, is well known for having a penchant for the extreme away from the sport.
Confirming the incident on Twitter, the team said: “Kimi went off during a snowmobile competition in Austria, but he’s absolutely fine.
“We just spoke to Kimi. There’s nothing to worry about, he only has a sore wrist. He might have it checked again on Monday, but that’s all.”
Raikkonen’s return to F1 comes on the back of a two-year deal with the Enstone-based team after it was confirmed that injured driver Robert Kubica would not be ready to return for the start of the 2012 season.
Renault were criticised in February for allowing Kubica to take part in a rally in Italy in February, just weeks before the start of the 2011 season, after the Pole suffered serious injuries to his right hand, arm and leg.
However, team principal Eric Boullier maintained at the time that they encourage their drivers to have a life away from F1, while other teams choose to restrict the activities of their drivers, with Red Bull recently preventing both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber from taking part in events the team considered too dangerous.
Lotus, who this week revealed that they aim to be world champions again within three years, are pinning their hopes on Raikkonen leading them to glory as Kubica is unlikely to return to the team.
Boullier revealed that the team had been trying to agree a new deal with Kubica, but on Friday, the Frenchman intimated that the relationship was no at “point zero”.
The sticking point is when Kubica will be ready to return to F1, and while Lotus and Boullier are keen to see him return, the team have signed other drivers on multi-year deals.
“We have been waiting for Robert to understand his plans,” Boullier told BBC Sport. “We would like to sit down with him and his manager to see what can be done to get him back in F1.
“If we can help him get in back in F1 we will, but we have signed our drivers for next year and we want to stick with them.”
Raikkonen has been partnered with Swiss driver Romain Grosjean”“managed by Boullier”“currently the reigning GP2 Series champion, and a former Renault driver, after spending half a season alongside Fernando Alonso following the dismissal of Nelson Piquet Jr for his part in the “˜crash-gate’ scandal.