Steering issue creating Lotus-Raikkonen rift
Lotus F1 Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland looks on in the paddock during the first practice session during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix Prix May 24, 2012.
The 2007 world champion has complained about the steering system aboard the black and gold E20 from his very first lap this season.
For Monaco, the team debuted a special system tailored to the Finn's needs, but it lasted just a single out-lap on Thursday morning.
"He was asked to consider running the session with it as it was (but) he refused and took no further part", Sky Sports' technical expert Mark Hughes reported.
That has triggered speculation Lotus is close to "giving up" on fixing the issue for the famously laid-back Raikkonen, who might have to simply adapt instead.
"By no means are we 'giving up' on fine tuning the development of the steering system according to Kimi's exact preferences," a Lotus team source is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
But the Enstone based team also appears to have highlighted the impact of Raikkonen's refusal to practice on Thursday.
Monaco, according to a report on Lotus' official website, showed "the importance of getting the steering system exactly as he likes it, whilst also underlining the fact that even an experienced challenger can be affected by missing running time at such a technical circuit".