LOTUS team principal Eric Boullier has confirmed putting the needs of the ordinary workers first ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s wage woes.

Raikkonen revealed his main reason for leaving Enstone-based Lotus and rejoining Ferrari was that he had not been paid.

It is understood Raikkonen meant performance-related bonuses rather than his basic wage.

However, Boullier felt the F1 team was more important than one man, regardless of his pivotal role.

“The truth is, yes, we owe him money,” said Boullier.

“But he is going to be paid, that’s true too, and if you want a bit more to the story, last year it was the same in that we owed him some money, but at the end of the day he was paid.

“It’s about managing the cash flow, and unfortunately we are not as rich as some other teams on the grid.

“We have obviously favoured our people working in Enstone, which is understandable, and the car development which is the essence of F1 if you want to compete.”