Valsecchi likely to replace Raikkonen for final races, but Hulkenberg also a candidate
11 November, 2013
Two candidates have emerged as possible replacements for the surgery-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the remaining two grands prix of the year.
If the Quantum Motorsport investment arrives at the Enstone based team, German driver Nico Hulkenberg is Lotus’ preferred choice to succeed Raikkonen permanently for 2014.
But given Raikkonen’s premature exit, does he have a chance to switch from Sauber a couple of races early?
“Not likely,” Hulkenberg’s manager Werner Heinz told Bild newspaper. “No one has talked with us about that.”
In reality, the hot favourite is Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who since winning last year’s GP2 title has been waiting patiently for his chance.
However, the Italian was surprised when a correspondent for the Italian magazine Autosprint phoned him on Sunday.
“I don’t know anything,” said Valsecchi. “I haven’t heard anything from the team and I was not at the factory last week. ”Not even the people I talk to regularly at Enstone said anything.”
This suggests that Lotus were caught totally unawares by Raikkonen’s decision, while Valsecchi said that he will travel to Austin, on Tuesday, as per his existing arrangements.
“If something happens, I’m ready,” he insisted. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.