Forget Maldonado’s money or even Hulkenberg, Lotus should just sign Kovalainen

16 Nov

I’d like to start off by letting you all know that this article is going to be completely unbiased. That’s a lie, it’s going to be 100% biased, if not more. It’s going to be more.

Anyways, a few days ago I wrote about the rather mad nature of the F1 driver market, including what Lotus were going to do about the spare seat vacated by Kimi Raikkonen for the last two races. I banded a few names around (Senna being one, although I did disregard Valsecchi. Sorry about that,), but my heart was set on Finn Heikki Kovalainen, who I have a little bit of a soft spot for, and i’m delighted to say that he got the drive! Having been flown over to Austin, he took part in all sessions, including a great 5th place in Practice 2. He then went on to qualify 8th on the grid, the first time he’d been into Q3 since leaving Mclaren back in 2009- not bad for someone who hasn’t been properly racing all year, let alone in F1 cars. 

And it’s this point I want to bring up. If Heikki can do so well with such little experience of driving the 2013 car (He’s had a few outings for Caterham), then think what he could do with a full pre-season; with a whole year with the team and not just 2 races. This drive was impressive, and he can only get better as he gets more and more used to the car. He may not have the money PDVSA backed Pastor Maldonado has (Although, I would, at this point, like to point out that PDVSA are $39.2 Billion in debt anyway, so I have no idea how they can back Maldonado (http://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/14/venezuelas-pdvsa-to-go-4-5b-deeper-in-debt/?__lsa=7640-6d9c)), and he may not be rated as highly as Hulkenberg is, but he is a better driver than most people give him credit for; his time at Mclaren certainly took his reputation and put it through a paper shredder, but he was great at Renault (Which is now Lotus incidentally), and at Caterham he was consistently the quickest backmarker.

With next year’s massive rule changes, an experienced driver like Kovalainen, even just for the one year, could be vital. I reckon Hulkenberg would still be quicker , possibly, but with the Quantum deal looking likely to fail, Kovalainen could be the perfect choice to stop complain king Maldonado getting the seat, purely for money he doesn’t have.

Viva la Heikki Kovalainen
-Chris

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