Kimi Raikkonen’s manager has confirmed that he will not be racing in the final two races of the season for Lotus or Sauber, thus ending a week of intense speculation surrounding the Finn’s plans before he returns to Ferrari for the 2014 season.

Turun Sanomat has reported that Raikkonen will undergo back surgery, to address a long standing injury which resurfaced in Singapore this year, and got to the point that in Abu Dhabi he had to take pain-killers to allow him to sleep.

Thus while F1 carvan goes to America and Brazil, the Finn will be in Salzburg for his back operation, from which he will require about a month to recuperate fully. Lotus now has just a few days to decide on a replacement driver. It could decide to promote reserve driver Davide Valsecchi to the race seat or swoop for another available driver.