Raikkonen set to miss final two races

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen will be on the sidelines for the final two races of the 2013 Formula 1 season after opting to undergo back surgery.

The former world champion is believed to have been carrying a niggling back issue since a crash during his rookie 2001 season with Sauber.

The problem has flared up on multiple occasions this year, with post-season surgery having been expected.

First reported by Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, the decision to bring forward the procedure to next week follows a pay dispute with the Lotus team that had seen Raikkonen on the brink of skipping the most recent race in Abu Dhabi.

Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson confirmed the change of plan to Autosport.

“In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus in the final two grands prix,” he said.

“However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible.”

Lotus is yet to confirm a replacement for Raikkonen for the United States and Brazil races or for the 2014 season, where the Finn will drive for Ferrari.

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