Caterham: Kovalainen's Lotus form hurt his chances of securing 2014 seat


Lotus F1 Team, LAT
9 February 2014 by TF1T Staff | M
          

Caterham team owner Tony Fernandes has admitted that Heikki Kovalainen's performance at Lotus, when he stood in for Kimi Raikkonen at the final two races of the 2013 season, played a part in his decision to choose Kamui Kobayashi over the Finn.

Kovalainen had been expected to land a seat with the team after they made up following a falling out in 2012 which led to him taking part in a couple of practice sessions.

However his under-performance in America and Brazil, where he finished 14th both times compared to Romain Grosjean's second place in Austin and a retirement in Brazil - but he had been running eighth at the time - left Fernandes with the feeling that they could find someone better.

"Obviously we would be lying if we said that it didn't play a part [in our decision]," said the Malaysian businessman.

"It was a whole mixture of a lot of things but in any decision there are pros and cons," he added. "I am egalitarian, I put it out to various team members - there were those pro Heikki and those pro Kamui and I had to make a choice."

The team chose Kobayashi alongside rookie Marcus Ericsson.

Fernandes admits it was tough to let go of Kovalainen who had been with them since the start, but added that it was necessary.

"We have to move on, we have to be a little bit cold, if we want to be successful," he concluded.

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