• Lotus

Kovalainen likely to fill vacant Lotus seat

ESPN Staff
November 13, 2013 « Hulkenberg turns down option to finish season at Lotus | Perez announces his McLaren exit »
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Heikki Kovalainen looks set to stand in for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the final two races of the year.

Raikkonen has cut his season short in order to undergo back surgery ahead of the winter break, opening up a vacant seat at Lotus in both the USA and Brazil. Nico Hulkenberg turned down an offer to make a switch from Sauber at the final two races, while reserve driver Davide Valsecchi appears to have been overlooked due to a lack of race experience. On Wednesday Finnish broadcaster MTV reported that Kovalainen is now lined up for the race drive.

Kovalainen made his debut with the Lotus team when it was under Renault ownership in 2007 and last raced in F1 for Caterham in 2012. He has also taken part in six Friday morning practice sessions with Caterham this year, including an outing at the last race weekend in Abu Dhabi.

It is a crucial moment of the season for Lotus as it aims to beat Ferrari to third place in the constructors' championship in order to secure extra end-of-season prize money. It currently lies 26 points adrift of the Italian team and is likely to need both drivers to score points to secure third place.

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