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Lotus performances hurt Kovalainen's 2014 F1 chances

Tony Fernandes admits Heikki Kovalainen's results for Lotus at the end of 2013 played a part in Caterham not picking him for a race seat this season
Caterham team principal Tony Fernandes admits Heikki Kovalainen's performances for Lotus at the end of 2013 hurt his chances for 2014.

Kovalainen appeared close to a return to Caterham towards the end of last season, speaking openly about talks with the team. However, when Kimi Raikkonen was ruled out of the last two grands prix of the year, Lotus opted to sign Kovalainen as it chased third place in the constructors' championship.

However, Kovalainen failed to score a point in either of the final two races – finishing 14th on both occasions – while team-mate Romain Grosjean was second in Austin. With Kovalainen suffering such a disappointing end to the year, Fernandes admitted those drives had impacted on his decision to opt for Kamui Kobayashi as the Caterham's experienced driver in 2014.

“Obviously we would lie if that didn't play a part,” Fernandes said. “There was a whole mixture of a lot of things, but yes. In any decision there are pros and cons and I'm very egalitarian – maybe too egalitarian – so I put it out to the various team members in the F1 team and there were those who were pro for Heikki and those who were pro for Kamui.

“We put it all together and finally I had to make a choice and I made the choice of Kamui.”

However, Fernandes said it had been far from easy to drop Kovalainen from his plans.

“It was a hard decision. We're the last of the teams to announce their drivers but we have to move on and we have to be a little bit cold if we want to be successful. We have to weigh up so many different facets and this was the right decision that we chose. Time will tell if that's the right decision overall.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.11.2013- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
23.11.2013- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
23.11.2013- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.11.2013 - Race, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21  and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
21.09.2014 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
21.09.2014 - Race, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 retires from the race
21.09.2014 - Race, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 retires from the race
21.09.2014 - Race, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 retires from the race
21.09.2014 - Race, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 retires from the race
21.09.2014 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
21.09.2014 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 leads Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
21.09.2014 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Race, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03 leads Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
21.09.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03 and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33 and Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04

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DFuct

February 10, 2014 3:07 PM

Gotta feel a bit for Heikki there - just goes to show how difficult it is now to be parachuted into a new car and deliver, even for someone of his experience. That said, he's had a fair crack at the whip over the years and driven some decent machinery. I thought he'd annihilate Petrov in 2012 but it didn't happen. Probably time to move on to sportscars.

Taz

February 10, 2014 3:46 PM

I'd say it killed his chances, not just hurt them. I thought he'd do a lot better. I'd agree his time in F1 is probably up now unless he gets a test driver gig elsewhere..



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