Kovalainen’s career ends!
Heikki Kovalainen’s Formula One career is ending, at least for the time being. Caterham has announced their second driver for the 2013 season will be a Dutch rookie driver by the name of Giedo van der Garde. Van der Garde as raced previously in GP2 (being 6th in standings last year) and also has some mileage as Caterham’s test-driver. It’s sad that Kovalainen has to leave the sport, but the simple and ugly truth is that Heikki has no serious sponsors backing him and Caterham simply couldn’t afford to renew his contract.
Van der Garde will be driving with Charles Pic at Caterham this season. Pic raced for Marussia last season. Also, it’s now come to light that the F1 news media jumped the gun and Luiz Razia has apparently not actually been confirmed to be Marussia’s second driver yet. I doubt Heikki has a chance of grabbing the seat at the team and if there is any serious competition between Razia and other drivers, those would probably be Kamui Kobayashi or Vitaly Petrov.
I do believe Razia will get his spot which will make van der Garde the fifth rookie driver starting this season. Therefore, I’m dubbing 2013 The Year of the Rookie. At any rate, I wish the best for van der Garde (who will have to try to break the tradition of mediocre Dutch drivers) and bid adieu to Heikki. You will be missed…
Heikki Kovalainen’s F1 Career in a Nutshell
- Teams driven for: Renault (2007), McLaren (2008, 2009), Lotus/Caterham (2010-2012)
- Best finish: Victory in the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.
- Number of podium finishes: 4 (1 win, 2nd twice and 3rd once)
- Debut season highlight: 2nd place in the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix
- Final season highlight: 13th in the Monaco and Abu Dhabi Grand Prixs
- Best standing: 7th in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
- Worst standing: 22nd in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.