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Raikkonen to miss final two races of 2013 for back surgery 10 Nov 2013

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race Day, Sunday, 27 October 2013

Kimi Raikkonen will miss the final two rounds of 2013 in the USA and Brazil after electing to undergo back surgery, Lotus have confirmed.

The 34-year-old Finn, who will drive for Ferrari next year, has suffered with back problems throughout the latter part of this season, and was almost forced to sit out September's race in Singapore when the problem flared up.

It is believed that Raikkonen has opted to have surgery now so that his preparations for 2014 are not impacted.

Lotus will make an announcement about Raikkonen's replacement in due course. One possibility is for the team to promote third driver Davide Valsecchi. The 26-year-old Italian won last year's GP2 Series, although he has no prior F1 race experience.

Another option is for Lotus to hand reserve driver Jerome d'Ambrosio the drive. The 27-year-old Belgian has 20 Grand Prix starts to his name and was drafted into Romain Grosjean's car for last year's Italian Grand Prix after the Frenchman was handed a one-race ban.

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