Pirelli considering Kovalainen for F1 test role

11 February, 2013

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations Day, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday 26 July 2012.

Heikki Kovalainen

Vastly experienced Heikki Kovalainen is a strong candidate to become a test driver for official Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli, but Paul Hembery, the organisation’s F1 boss, admitted it all depends on whether Pirelli’s contract to supply tyres to the pinnacle of motor racing is extended.

“This question is still open,” he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat.

The highly-rated former Renault, McLaren and Caterham driver Kovalainen, 31, is the latest victim of the rise of ‘pay drivers’ in F1.

Hembery continued: “When everything has been resolved, we will see what the situation is with our test drivers.”

He confirmed that Pirelli’s 2012 test duo Jaime Alguersuari and Lucas di Grassi are still very much in the frame.

“But Heikki would be an excellent candidate,” added Hembery. “He is a highly experienced driver.

“I really believe that he is one of the strongest candidates to be with us.”

Finnish rally legend Juha Kankkunen, however, thinks Kovalainen should give a career in rallying a chance.

“I think it would be a perfectly reasonable alternative for Heikki, but so too is DTM or Le Mans,” he told the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.

“But I have seen Heikki in a rally car on the frozen lake in Kuusamo (Finland) and he is an excellent driver, with real talent.” (GMM)


  • JodyRenza

    What a waste not having his talent in F1…but the budgets have spoken!

  • Tod

    This situation with pay drivers is ruining F1!!
    About time Bernie either sorts this situation or gives up so someone with some better financial sense can get this sorted!!

  • McLarenfan

    Kovalainenis a racer not a patsy to lap a track on his own

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