Date: 20th September 2013 at 9:54am
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On Thursday Kimi Raikkonen met the press for the first time since it was announced that he would be leaving Lotus for Ferrari at the end of the season.

The Finn was out-of-contract with Lotus at the end of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship and appeared to have his pick of teams up and down the paddock after impressing since his return to the sport following a break in rally cars.

The 2007 Formula One World Champion first courted interest from Red Bull Racing, before talks between Kimi and Red Bull broke down, which eventually led to the appointment of Daniel Ricciardo from sister team Toro Rosso.

But before that deal had even been finalised Raikkonen was being linked with a sensational return to Ferrari, the team that provided him with his only F1 title.

Despite it appearing to a good match and a dream partnership between Kimi and double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, many in the paddock believed that Raikkonen was very settled at Lotus and in an ideal world would have opted to remain with the Enstone team.

The problem with Lotus was finances.

Back in July, rumours began to emerge that the team were failing to keep up with their bills, with speculation that Kimi Raikkonen had gone seven months without pay.

Lotus boss Eric Boullier later declared that the team were now up-to-date with his wages, but according to the 33-year-old the team still owe him his salary.

‘I like to race, that’s the only reason I am here,’

‘But the reason I have left the [Lotus] team is purely from the money side. I haven’t got my salary.’
Kimi said as quoted by Sky Sports following Thursday drivers press conference.

Raikkonen also seeked technical reassurances as well as financial reassurances from Lotus, because if he were to have stayed he wanted to know that the team would remain competitive. As that wasn’t forthcoming in time, he signed for Ferrari.

‘There was a lot of things and for sure they [Lotus] know what it is, It’s hard to say which way it would have gone if that would have happened, but the [Ferrari] deal’s done now and I’m very happy we’ve done a deal.’