Formula One: Raikkonen shrugs off back pain

Lotus' Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen at a press conference for the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix held at Marina Bay Circuit on Sept 19, 2013. Raikkonen will head into next weekend's Korean Grand Prix still dogged by the back problems that upset hi
Lotus' Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen at a press conference for the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix held at Marina Bay Circuit on Sept 19, 2013. Raikkonen will head into next weekend's Korean Grand Prix still dogged by the back problems that upset his qualifying in Singapore, but keen to race through the pain barrier. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH

LONDON (AFP) - Kimi Raikkonen will head into next weekend's Korean Grand Prix still dogged by the back problems that upset his qualifying in Singapore, but keen to race through the pain barrier.

The Ferrari-bound Finn said he will assess his fitness levels during practice in Korea, but expects to be able to take part and, as in Singapore, to line up in the race.

In Singapore, he overcame the pain and secured a podium finish by taking third place, having qualified only 13th for Lotus.

"It's better than it was on Saturday in Singapore, which is when it didn't feel too good," said Raikkonen.

"The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish. It's not the first time I've had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time.

"We will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea."

Raikkonen believes his ongoing chronic back problems are the legacy of a crash during testing in 2001.

He has never fully recovered, but has frequently delivered stirring and spectacular drives despite his discomfort.