Heikki Kovalainen has dismissed the notion that he could drive for Lotus full-time in 2014, insisting his deal is just to substitute for Kimi Raikkonen for the final two races of the season.
Kovalainen, who has spent the 2013 season on the side-lines after losing his race seat at Caterham at the end of last year – with the team opting to instead take on two drivers who could provide a budget – has admitted that a return to the Hingham-based outfit is his most likely destination for 2014.
“The main focus this weekend is not trying to show what I can do, but trying to deliver for the team. I’m here for the team more than myself”, he told AUTOSPORT.
“I haven’t spoken to Lotus about next year at all. The only team that I’ve really spoken seriously to is Caterham, and we’re getting to a point where we’re closer to starting to agree terms, so I think that’s still the most likely option for me.
“You never know in this paddock, but I don’t feel any extra pressure. I don’t see these races as deciding what happens [next year].”
Lotus opted to choose Kovalainen to substitute for Kimi Raikkonen over their current Reserve Driver Davide Valechhi, with the team feeling that the former Caterham man’s vast Formula One experience would be ideal as the team fights to secure second in the Constructors’ Championship.
“They hired me because of that, and to be honest if I didn’t think I could do it, I would not have accepted it,” admitted the 32-year-old.
“Only time will tell how things go, but I expect myself to perform well. I’ve been in Formula 1 long enough, even if I haven’t driven much this year. I want to be at the limit as soon as possible.”
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team