Davide Valsecchi has admitted that he will have to consider his future at Lotus come the close of the season, having been overlooked by the team as a possible replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.
Valsecchi, the 2012 GP2 champion, has spent 2013 as Lotus’ Reserve Driver, but following the announcement that Kimi Raikkonen would miss the final two Grand Prix of the season, the Enstone-based outfit chose Heikki Kovalainen to substitute for the Finn, rather than Valsecchi, a choice that has made the Italian question his future with the team.
“I could have a chance and I missed it, so for my career it is not something fantastic,” Valsecchi told ESPN. “I was champion last year – I was the GP2 champion – so I believe that I can be there and fighting with the others. I didn’t have the chance and the opportunity to race at the beginning of the season and now I was close and I missed it. So it’s a bad sign for me, but we don’t give up. We never know in life.”
Asked if he would remain with Lotus in a Reserve Driver role for 2014, the 26-year-old said: “I don’t know, we’ll have to check.
“To be honest I would like to race in some way if I can. On the sports side I am really suffering in this situation, being here and sometimes not being useful. Considering when it’s the right time to use me I missed the chance; they used someone else and that means I was not very useful for the team this year. It didn’t give me so much satisfaction in my personal life, but we never know, we just know that the team had the right to decide.”
Lotus clarified their decision to overlook Valsecchi in favour of Kovalainen based on the Finn’s wealth of Formula One experience, in contrast to the Italian, who has been restricted to just a handful of test runs, most recently at the Young Driver Test in July in the team’s 2013 challenger, the E21.
However, Valsecchi is adamant that he would have performed well in the final two Grand Prix if gifted the opportunity, despite his lack of preparation, stating that while a risk, it would have been a great opportunity for his career.
“I think that for my career it was better to have the opportunity. Also because if you consider how our car was performing this weekend it could have been a really, really, really great opportunity.”
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team