Kovalainen returns for Caterham testing

Heikki Kovalainen has been given an F1 development testing role by Caterham after being on the sidelines since the end of last year.

Meanwhile Alexander Rossi has landed a race seat with the sister GP2 team.
Kovalainen, who spent the Malaysian GP weekend with his former colleagues, will drive in FP1 in the next two races in Bahrain and Barcelona, in order to help the team with development.

While it might not seem much of an opportunity for the Finnish veteran, it will at least keep him sharp and give him some knowledge of the 2013 tyres.

Meanwhile erstwhile Caterham GP2 driver Ma Qing Hua has made way for Rossi, who now has a chance to use the drive as a springboard to an F1 seat.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “After Ma’s successful run in FP1 in China a number of new opportunities have arisen for him and we have decided to restructure our current line-up. Alexander moves to Caterham Racing to compete in GP2 and I am sure he will be an immediate success in that championship whilst he will continue to enjoy the link with the F1 team throughout the season.

“Heikki returns to track work with us and we are delighted to welcome him back into the team. He has six years of F1 experience behind him so he is perfectly placed to provide us objective feedback on the various types of configurations we will run and to give us an objective view of the 2013 tyres against his experience with the 2012 compounds.

“Having invested in Heikki for our first three years of competition it would be a waste not to leverage the valuable expertise he brings. As F1 is a team sport, he will also provide support to Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, who are both doing a good job in their first months with the team.”

Kovalainen said: “It’s obviously great news that I’ll be on track in Bahrain and Spain and I’m really looking forward to getting back to work and helping the team as much as I can. I’ll be taking part in the two FP1 sessions in Bahrain and Barcelona to give the team my input on the new parts we’re bringing to those races, and I’ll be working closely with the race drivers and the engineers on track and back at Leafield to help everyone get the most out of the new package.”

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Kovalainen returns for Caterham testing

  1. Mick

    Seems a lot like admitting that they have inferior race drivers for financial reasons. Will they both last out the season?

  2. SuperSwede

    I´m really hoping that they will sack one of their paydrivers and put Heikki in one of the cars.

  3. Stone the Crows

    Good to see Heikki back, and that he’ll be able to keep his skills sharp. Perhaps another team will see his worth and hire him.

  4. petes

    Was it Ma who got to punt around the HRT just before the wheels fell off?
    Then FP1 in China with Caterham; wheels pulled from GP2; money sure is not buying him anything in the world of motorsport.

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