Formula One: Raikkonen vows to race despite back injury
SINGAPORE (AFP) - Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen on Saturday vowed to battle through the pain barrier and race at the Singapore Grand Prix despite suffering a flare-up of a long-standing back problem.
The 2007 world champion, set to join championship contenders Ferrari next season, was hampered by severe pain in qualifying and could only manage 13th place.
But the 33-year-old promised he would go ahead with Sunday's race over a bumpy street circuit through the centre of the wealthy Asian city-state.
"It's still quite painful and there wasn't much more I could do in qualifying," he said.
"It's not the first time I've driven with a problem and it probably won't be the last time either, but I'll be on the grid tomorrow and we'll try to get the maximum from where we are at the start." Raikkonen, who has been undergoing physio treatment, arrived in the final seconds for qualifying and he quit the track straight away afterwards to return to his hotel.
A team spokesman said the problem stemmed from an accident Raikkonen suffered at Magny-Cours in 2001, when he was testing with Sauber.
"Obviously it's a very bumpy track here and if you get something slightly wrong you can trap a nerve or whatever and it does cause you a lot of pain," the spokesman told AFP.
Raikkonen was confirmed as Ferrari's driver for next season but he has had a rocky time with Lotus, and on Thursday revealed that he was quitting the team in a row over money.
Lotus later admitted they were behind in their payments to the Finn, but insisted they would settle up.