Michael Schumacher has rejected an offer to come out of retirement and drive for Lotus in the final two races of the 2013 F1 season.
Lotus approached the 44-year-old as Kimi Raikkonen will miss the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix in order to undergo surgery on a back injury.
However, Schumacher, who retired for a second time at the end of last year, following his comeback with Mercedes, was not interested.
“It is true they were asking and I can understand why. Everyone can see Michael is still very fit,” Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm told BBC Sport
. “I think it is fair to assume Michael would still be strong but he has happily settled in his new life.”
Caterham test and reserve driver, Heikki Kovalainen now looks set to get the nod with confirmation expected today [Thursday].Nico Hulkenberg
was also approached, but he has elected to see out the season with Sauber, although interestingly he did go to Enstone for a seat fitting. Reports in Germany suggest Ferrari stopped Hulkenberg from switching teams, by taking care of his unpaid salary. The Sauber F1 team of course has a close relationship with Maranello and uses Ferrari engines. The Scuderia is also currently battling with Lotus and Mercedes for second in the Constructors' Championship and so stands to benefit if Lotus struggle in the final two races - or so the theory goes...