Heikki Kovalainen does not think his performances for Lotus in the season’s final two Formula 1 races will have any bearing on his chances of a 2014 drive.
Kovalainen, who has spent 2013 as Caterham reserve after losing his race seat at the squad, will take the Lotus drive vacated by fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen for the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix. But Kovalainen said he had no expectation of being considered for a 2014 Lotus drive, and is optimistic he will be racing for Caterham again.
“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 said. “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 is counting on Kovalainen’s experience to help chase down Mercedes and Ferrari in the battle for 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,” said Kovalainen. “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.”
Although Kovalainen revealed that he did not get called up by Lotus until Tuesday evening, he was able to spend time at its UK factory and in its simulator.
“I think within the time limits we’ve had, we’ve managed to do quite a lot,” he said. “Whether it’s enough, we’ll find out.”