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2013-02-06 08:09

F1 COMEBACK STILL ON THE CARDS: Heikki Kovalainen won't be on the F1 grid in 2013 yet a comeback could be store for the ousted Finnish driver in the near future.

Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain - Heikki Kovalainen deserved to stay in Formula 1 and Caterham was "crazy" to discard him, according to his former team mate Lewis Hamilton.

The two friends were together at McLaren in 2008, during which time Hamilton won a World championship. In 2009, before Kovalainen moved to new entrant Lotus Racing (now Caterham), in 2010.

'CRAZY TO DROP HEIKKI'

Hamilton said: "When I landed and was coming to the track I was thinking to myself 'it's such a shame that Heikki's not here'. Some other people that now have seats, I think whoever gave them the seats is crazy to think that they are better than Heikki.

"Heikki's got great calibre, great experience and he deserves to be here... and he's a good friend of mine so I wish him all the best in whatever he's doing."

Caterham, whose Malaysian founder Tony Fernandes has given up his team principal position to focus on business interests that include the AirAsia budget airline and UK Premier League soccer club Queens Park Rangers, has an all-new line-up for 2013.

Charles Pic, a rookie with Marussia in 2012, will be partnered by debutant Giedo van der Garde, each bringing sponsorship with them whereas Kovalainen refused to contemplate becoming a "pay driver".

Kovalainen won one GP in his time at McLaren (Hungary, 2008). He also had a second with Renault in 2007 and McLaren in 2008.

Caterham has yet to score a point in the team's three seasons under various guises. The team has also dropped the sport's only Russian driver, Vitaly Petrov.

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