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Heikki Kovalainen facing Caterham axe to pay-driver

  • Published on 26 Oct 2012 14:37
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Heikki Kovalainen has admitted it is possible he will lose his Caterham seat at the end of the season. Although the Finn is highly regarded by the Tony Fernandes-led team, Caterham is facing up to the prospect of losing millions in projected Concorde Agreement earnings, due to losing tenth place in the lucrative constructors' championship standings to Marussia.

When asked specifically about his future, Kovalainen answered in India: "For our team it's quite important that we try to regain that tenth position back. So, the main focus is on that and regarding the future with the team and with Tony, we haven't decided yet," he revealed. "I think Tony knows what he gets with me but then he's evaluating other options I think to see what he wants to do. And I'm waiting. In the meantime, of course, my management is also working."

The implication is clear: if Caterham's budget falls short due to the lost Concorde earnings, the team will be tempted to replace the money with a 'pay driver'. Marussia's well-funded Charles Pic has been linked with a 2013 Caterham seat, as has Giedo van der Garde, who took over Kovalainen's car in first practice in India on Friday.

Kovalainen is quoted by Turun Sanomat newspaper: "He (Fernandes) has to decide whether to have two drivers who bring budget with them, or (to keep) me. I do not bring any money," he clarified. "Tony has not told me directly what he intends to do." (GMM)

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