Kovalainen to Replace Räikkönen for the rest of 2013

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    There have been some rumours that Heikki Kovalainen might be replacing Kimi Räikkönen for the two remaining races and just recently the finnish website MTV Sport unofficially confirmed it. Do you think it will happen? If it does, is it the right choice? And if it doesn’t, then who should they take instead?


    Well, if it’s true, I’m very glad for Heikki. But I’m not sure if it’s really the right choice, but who knows.

    Here is the link for the news from MTV Sport (in Finnish, unfortunately)


    I’m very pleased he will be back! This makes the whole weekend interesting!!! It’s gonna be a hell of a race & quali! Even Friday training will be worth watching live!


    Meh. Will wait for confirmation before I buy this. If true it’s a very uninspired choice, but maybe a safe bet.


    It’s true Lotus want him, be he has to be released from Caterham. I can’t see that being an issue, maybe even pushed by Renault. But time is running out Davide still might get the drive.


    His wife or sister tweeted it. I think that is a pretty good source.

    Lucas Wilson

    Why oh why, out of all the drivers. Does every cloud have a Kovalinen?


    Poor Davide must be wondering what he has to do to race in F1… it would be quite a disappointing (and dull) decision by Lotus, really. I would’ve much preferred them to take a risk on an unknown quantity like Valsecchi, or even one of this year’s GP2 stars. Picking a driver who we already know is good-but-not-great just isn’t very exciting.

    Force Maikel

    As good as an official conformation I guess


    They’re reporting it on Autosport so you can consider it a pretty safe bet


    It’s disappointing for Valsecchi if this is true, because there’s no reason he shouldn’t be given a chance. But the circumstances just aren’t right for Lotus to do that. Lotus are fighting for 2nd or 3rd in the Constructors, and from the outset, Kovaleinen looks the best bet to bring home points alongside Grosjean. Hulk would have more than likely done a better job, but he’s tied to Sauber, and if he is staying for 2014, then that’d be awkward when he gets back to Hinwil…

    But the proof shall be in the pudding. We know Grosjean is just as good and sometimes even better than Raikkonen when he’s on form, but whether Kovaleinen is, I highly, highly doubt.


    If this is true, which it looks set to be, I’m quite disappointed. As nice of a guy as Kovaleinen is, I think there are other people that deserve a shot. Specifically, Valsecchi has been waiting in the wings for something like this, and they pass him up? It’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth for him. Obviously, I can understand that Lotus want someone who can deliver points, but who’s to say that Kovaleinen will suit the car any better?

    Ed Marques

    Lotus is right. They need points and it’s more likely that Heikki could get them than Valsecchi.


    The reserve driver role is a complete joke these days. Valsecchi has just spent a whole year on the sidelines for nothing. I don’t know whether he had any other options for 2013, but they would have been better than this.

    If you look purely from a performance point of view, then I understand Lotus’ decision, and anyway I’m looking forward to seeing what Kovalainen can do in the car. Short of bringing in Vettel, though (and why not, it’s not like he or Red Bull needs the points…) I suspect anyone stepping into that seat will struggle to get into the top 5 in normal conditions. However, if the probability of gaining 3rd in the championship is very small regardless of who they put into the car, then it’s not worth treating your reserve driver this way.

    Iestyn Davies

    Heikki drove for them in 2007, so they know how good he is, compared to Fisichella, Alonso, Kubica and Raikkonen (and the test drivers). That he got screwed over as McLaren’s second driver after that is irrelevant to them.

    Reports are that Valsecchi is as old-school as I thought he might be – he needs solid seat time and not simulator time to get up to speed. Very hard for him to do that in the current formula. Anyone who gets nausea/migraines from being in a sim is hugely disadvantaged after the testing ban (Schumi had this as well, and hence was poor in 2010). Magnussen is beating Perez in the sim and hence McLaren will throw him right in as a replacement.

    Lotus really need that extra $7.5m/$17.5m for 3rd or 2nd in the constructors. That it could come down to a few team strategy blunders is very disappointing for them in the least.. especially if it stops them hiring Hulkenberg for 2014. Ferrari get an extra $17.5m on top anyway for being Ferrari, but that won’t stop them making sure Kimi or Hulk don’t drive for Lotus, if it means any chance of them losing 3rd place and the loss of pride/face that that would entail (only once in the last twenty years have Ferrari come 4th).

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