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Singapore is one of F1's most grueling races
Let's, for a moment, assume Raikkonen's concerned only about the money that lands in his bank account, and the value of his 2014 drive is his main priority given he is all but mathematically out of the 2013 title race.
Now, consider that the Finn's relationship with his current team is tenuous. After all, he has not been paid performance-based bonuses by Lotus, hence his impending departure.
Then, with all this bubbling away in the background, Raikkonen starts to suffer back pain—which Autosport discovered is a legacy of a 2001 testing crash—in the early stages of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, one of the F1 calendar's toughest Grands Prix.
These are the circumstances, that's without doubt. The Finn is in substantial pain and can only qualify 13th for one of the longest races of the year, driving on a bumpy street circuit in the sweltering Singapore heat.
It would take something remarkable to salvage anything significant from the weekend. This man, whose pocket linings are of more interest to him than anything else, would need to deliver one hell of a performance.
But hold on. He's not been paid for those performance-based bonuses of late. Why then would a man so fickle as this, battling a long-running and painful injury to boot, bother? Why, when the team had reserve driver Davide Valsecchi on standby, would he put himself through it for no financial reward?
He'd already given the answer, unwittingly, in the official FIA press conference three days before. He earns money because he's a great Formula One driver. But he's not a Formula One driver for the money.
Why is he here?
"I like to race."