Kovalainen to Lotus or Ferrari? - F1 'silly season' keeps racing UPDATE #2
(GMM) Finnish reports say Heikki Kovalainen's management have been summoned to Maranello.
|Kovalainen in the running to replace Massa?|
The speculation follows Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo ruling out Sergio Perez as Felipe Massa's 2013 successor, due to his lack of experience.
Finn Kovalainen, 30, is on the market after three years of rebuilding his reputation at Caterham, following his less-than-shining first three years in F1 at Renault and McLaren.
The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 said representatives of Kovalainen's management team at IMG Worldwide will travel to Maranello next week.
However, some consider Force India's Nico Hulkenberg as a more likely candidate to oust Brazilian Massa.
But, given Montezemolo's comments about experience, the 25-year-old German is only marginally more experienced than Mexican Perez.
A Ferrari spokesman told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "Do not apply what our president said (about experience) to other drivers.
"He (Montezemolo) was asked about Perez, and the response was specific to him."
The newspaper also said it doubts Ferrari's 2007 title winner Kimi Raikkonen is a candidate.
"Forget Ferrari. Kimi is not going there," a source close to the Lotus driver is quoted as saying.09/13/12 The management of Heikki Kovalainen has been invited to Ferrari to discuss a drive for the 2013 Formula 1 season. That is according to Finnish television company MTV3, with the Caterham driver now being tipped as a leading candidate for Fernando Alonso’s team-mate.
According to MTV3, Kovalainen and his team have also been in contact with the Lotus squad which currently runs Romain Grosjean and fellow Finn Kimi Räikkönen. He has already spent a season with the Enstone team, having made his F1 debut with the outfit then known as ‘Renault F1’ in 2007. Neither Ferrari nor Kovalainen have confirmed any talks.
09/09/12 (GMM) With Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher corking up the driver market, the notorious 'silly season' just keeps getting sillier at Monza.
Almost every possible permutation of driver/team combination has been whispered on the asphalt behind the Autodromo's pits, and the latest is that Lotus could have two Finns at the wheel in 2013.
That would mean the currently-banned Romain Grosjean is ousted, with Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen to team up with Kimi Raikkonen next season.
Kovalainen is denying nothing.
"I don't have a problem to race with anyone," he told the MTV3 broadcaster, "so I don't think it would be a problem to be with another Finn, but at the same time it's pointless to speculate."
Kovalainen has also been linked with Ferrari.
"I've heard all the rumors, but at this stage I have nothing more to say," he insisted.
"Managers do their work and when they have something to tell you, they will tell you," he added coyly.
It has also been rumored at Monza that Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen could return to McLaren next year to replace Hamilton.
Mika Salo, a former Finnish F1 driver turned commentator, doesn't think so.
"Kimi is with Lotus. He is very happy there," he said.
Salo has also heard the rumor linking Kovalainen with Lotus.
"The information is from a reliable source on the inside," said the former Ferrari and Toyota driver.
Still, he thinks it's unlikely Lotus will part with Grosjean, given his close relationship with the team's boss Eric Boullier.
Salo reckons Ferrari is Kovalainen's best option.
"Ferrari's options are limited and Heikki knows it," he said.
"When the Hamilton, Schumacher and Massa situation changes, things will begin to move (for everyone else)," added Salo.