January 12th, 2013 (F1plus / Jack Leslie).- Heikki Kovalainen has said he is "Surprised" to have been left without a drive for the 2013 season.
The Finn revealed in an interview with Autosport that he feels he has been overlooked for a race seat, after a few years racing at the back with Caterham. Results of 14th, 15th and 16th have not made the paddock notice the good job he has done with the machinery he has had.
He said "of course we're working flat out to see if we can do something about it, but the problem is the results that I've had over these last two or three years have not been enough to get in a top car, and then the average teams are in a situation now where they have to take pay drivers, and that rules out the second half of the grid,"
He continued "It's a tricky situation that I'm in now, although people say you've driven well, you've done a good job, the fact is that 15th or 16th or 17th on paper that is not as good as someone who's been sixth or seventh or eighth.
"It was slightly surprising, I thought after last season and the last couple of years I thought I'd be in a better position on the market."
Heikki has 1 race win to his name at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix. After joining Renault for his debut season, he performed well and often outpaced his more experienced team mate. He made the move to McLaren in a direct seat swap with Fernando Alonso. He was consistently overshadowed by British star Hamilton in their two years as team mates, before moving to Caterham to help develop the team.
Technical Director of Caterham, Mike Gascoyne, said on the Autosport Stage at the Autosport International Motorshow "We are very much aiming to be a sustainable long term team,"
"That may mean we have to take pay drivers or whatever, that's the nature of the game. But the one thing we want to make sure is that Caterham is on the grid in 20 years' time."
Vitaly Petrov is predicted to take the final Caterham seat, whilst Force India is choosing between Jules Bianchi and Adrian Sutil. Heikki will have to have a year on the side-lines and hope opportunities come up for 2014.