Heikki Kovalainen says he can see himself staying on with Caterham in the long-term if the team can maintain the progress it has made so far since joining the F1 grid.

The Finn made the switch to the team, then known as Lotus, after leaving McLaren and has played a major role in the progress made so far, which has seen the team emerge as the best of the three new teams on the grid.

The performances from Kovalainen in the past two seasons have seen him linked with a move back to a more established F1 outfit, but he said he was prepared to stay on an extend his deal if progress could be maintained.

"My focus is wholly with Caterham F1 at the moment, and if we keep progressing as we have done over the past two years, and into this third year, then I can very well see myself carrying on a lot longer here," he told the team's Notes magazine. "There are a lot of things that I value very highly at Caterham. I've managed to be here since the beginning. I've gotten to know everyone very well. I have a very good position with the team and it's working very well. So, these are all questions that, if you go to another team, would have to be answered again. If you go to another team, you have to build all that again. So it's not as simple as just going from one place to another.

"Overall, these two years, and hopefully this year as well, have been a really great time for my career, in rebuilding and finding form again and I'm grateful to Caterham and everyone in the team for that. At the moment though, I think the focus for me has to be developing this car and finding the right set-up directions for it, so we can get the results we are targeting. The future, beyond that, can wait. So, for people who want to speculate, it's not the right time to be talking about it and I'm not discussing anything with anyone!"

Kovalainen added that he hoped a new management deal with IMG would also help him during the year ahead.

"Basically, they are the partners I'm looking for," he said. "The deal will help me spend even more time with the team and it allows me to focus on the racing. They are more professional at looking at all the stuff that goes on around a Formula One driver, the stuff outside the cockpit. So I think it will be a big boost for me and hopefully we will see even better performances on the track."


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