Steve Robertson told Turun Sanomat that Raikkonen would need to skip the closing races of 2013 in the United States and Brazil after going under the knife in Salzburg next week.
The Lotus team were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport for confirmation yesterday. Raikkonen has been taking painkillers to control his long-standing back problem, which flared up earlier this year and almost forced him to miss the Singapore Grand Prix.
“The experts recommend surgery,” Robertson told Turun Sanomat. “That will take place on Thursday in Salzburg, Austria. “The most important thing right now is to sort out the back problem. Then Kimi can go into next season in the best of shape.”
The news is the latest twist in Raikkonen’s increasingly strained relationship with Lotus, who he will leave at the end of the season to re-join Ferrari, with whom the 34-year-old won the 2007 world championship.
Raikkonen was involved in an expletive-laden radio exchange with the Lotus pit wall during the recent Indian Grand Prix after failing to move aside for team-mate Romain Grosjean, and was then late arriving to last weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi amid an ongoing pay dispute with his employers.