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Lotus draft Heikki Kovalainen for final two races - Lotus replace one Finn with another as Kimi exits and Heikki saves the day

Published by Christine

Lotus draft Heikki Kovalainen for final two races
Credit: Lotus F1 Team
Lotus draft Heikki Kovalainen for final two races audio waveform

Lotus have replaced one Finn for another, announcing today that Heikki Kovalainen would take the seat vacated early by Kimi Räikkönen. It emerged earlier this week that Kimi would not be present at the final two races of the year because he would be taking the time off to have back surgery before joining Ferrari in 2014.

Lotus have brought Heikki Kovalainen in from his Caterham testing role, the Finn having previously driven for them in their Renault days.

Team Principal Éric Boullier explained the decision, saying: "On the one hand we had our reserve driver Davide Valsecchi - who is a talented young driver that has shown a great deal of promise - and on the other we had the opportunity to bring in a seasoned F1 competitor in Heikki." He continues that as they are still fighting for championship position, the experience outweighed the youth and Kovalainen got the role.

Heikki himself admits that jumping into the car this late in the season will be a challenge but: "I know the team at Enstone well so I have no concerns about getting up to speed."