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Kovalainen dumped by Caterham?

NEWS STORY
14/01/2013

Mat Coch writes:

There appears to be no future in Formula One for Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn has been an ever present at Caterham since its 2010 debut, however it now seems inevitable that he will be replaced.

Kovalainen's Caterham future was believed to hinge on the Leafield outfit's position in the 2012 Constructors' Championship. Taking tenth place in the final race of the 2012 season will add millions to the balance sheet, a fact many expected would save the 31-year-old Finn.

In November Kovalainen ruled out raising funds in order to remain in Formula One, keen to avoid the 'pay-driver' label.

"It is actually a great shame," claims Caterham's Mike Gascoyne. Speaking with Crash.net, the former Toyota giving the firmest hint yet that Kovalainen is poised to exit the team.

"Heikki is a very talented driver," he said, "but last year his management did not handle him very well and he has not done himself any favours.
"He has had three years with Caterham, was paid well, and he should have shown more respect about that."

Gascoyne's comments are somewhat ironic given he has come in for scrutiny himself with many of the opinion that, during a race, he should be focussed on the fortunes of the team rather than tweeting from the pit wall.

Kovalainen's apparent departure from the team adds weight to the likelihood that Vitaly Petrov will be retained, though it is believed talks have stalled in recent days.

"At the moment there are a lot of unanswered questions," confessed Petrov's manager to R-Sport. "There are too many things that need to be sorted out. We're at the waiting stage, which is linked to the team's restructuring. We completely depend on them."

Battling the likes of Bruno Senna, Giedo van der Garde and Luiz Razia for the drive, Petrov is believed to have the smallest budget but the most experience, a quality the team is believed to be looking for to partner the comparatively inexperienced Charles Pic.

However what weight can be given to Gascoyne's comments is uncertain. Last February he moved out of the Formula One team to become the chief technical officer of the wider Caterham Group.

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