Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that he holds little hope of getting on the Formula One grid next year.
The Finn who is one of the most popular drivers on the grid has been driving for Caterham since 2010 but is now speculating that he will not have a drive in 2013 as Caterham have continuously delayed their decision on next years drivers.
The Finn has also admitted that he is not actively looking for a sponsor to help him secure his drive, which will almost completely deplete his chances, as unfortunately the selection criteria in Formula One is based on money these days.
He had this to say “I’m not too stressed about it. It is what it is. If it’s the last race it’s a shame, but the situation is quite tricky for me and there is not much more than I can do. If that’s what it’s going to be that’s what it’s going to be. I’m just fully focused on this weekend and on trying to achieve the best result for the team.
Who knows what’s going to happen, but from my experience it’s never good when it’s this late in the season and things have not been decided. But that’s how it is. I know I’m on the list. I still have a very good relationship with Tony [Fernandes] and the team and it could well be that I stay here, but just from my experience I know how things are in Formula 1. And when it gets late it’s never a good sign.”
He has also revealed that he is actively thinking of other options should he fail to get a drive for 2013, but he has been told that if he can’t get sponsorship he can say goodbye and that he dislikes that approach.
“It won’t be the end, whatever happens. I have a life. I’m not going to go and kill myself,” he said. “Of course we are looking at the options, outside F1 as well, but also in F1. But even the other options require some money, and I don’t want to go that route. I told my manager not to actively find money. I don’t think it leads to anything.”
“If you have a big backer like Santander that went with you to a team it’s a different thing. But to collect the money for one season doesn’t do anything. It’s not what it’s all about. I just don’t think there is a structure for it. I think there needs to be a clear plan to go and find money to race in the middle of the grid. It doesn’t appeal to me.”
He has been the best driver of all the ‘backmarkers’, making it out of Q1 several times this year, but he feels that the other teams aren’t noticing him.
“I’ve reached a good level. I very rarely have bad races anymore. Most of time I get the best out of the car. I have a lot to offer but the situation in Formula 1 as it is might not fit me. It might not have room for me. There is nothing I can do about it. I can’t get any better results to show other teams, and if the results here are not enough to go forward or to stay here then so be it.”