Singapore GP: Kimi Raikkonen expected to race despite back pain

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Singapore
Dominant Vettel takes Singapore pole

Kimi Raikkonen will race in the Singapore GP despite suffering a back problem that left him 13th on the grid.

The Finn needed a pain-killing injection before qualifying after complaining of "very bad" discomfort in final practice.

"It was good we drove in qualifying in the end but not the most nice. We will race and see what happens," he said.

The pain was bad enough for Lotus to prepare reserve driver David Valsecchi before Raikkonen was cleared to drive.

Raikkonen has a long-standing back problem which occasionally flares up. Usually, driving the car frees it up but in Singapore it grew worse.

Raikkonen initially complained of some discomfort in Friday practice but on Saturday he was in significant pain, to the extent that he could not breathe while braking for Singapore's 23 corners.

Kimi Raikkonen plays down Ferrari rivalry with Alonso

After the injection he was in no pain during qualifying, but he had lost time preparing his car in final practice and did not have the confidence to push as hard as he would have liked in qualifying.

Lotus expect Raikkonen to be able to race after further injections.

The Finn is leaving Lotus at the end of the season to join Ferrari, the team with which he won the World Championship in 2007.

The deal was announced earlier this month and will see Raikkonen team up with double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Raikkonen said on Friday that the reason he is leaving is because he has not been paid by his current team.