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Heikki: 'I'm just here to help'

2013-04-19 09:48

"THAT SEAT SURE LOOKS NICE": Heikki Kovalainen has dismissed rumours that he only returned to Caterham hoping for an available seat to open up. Image: AFP

 
Heikki Kovalainen has denied he has was lured back to Caterham by the prospect of a race seat soon.

He was dropped from the team's race line-up for 2013 and initially ruled aouts  a reserve driver role  so and in the previous few weeks has been indulging his passion for golf while remaining race-fit.

JUST HELPING THE TEAM


Now the 31 -year-old has re-emerged at Caterham as a reserve driver and will drive on Friday morning in Bahrain (April 19) and Barcelona (May 10) to back-to-back test the upgraded cars.

The Finn denied, however, that he had changed his mind because the prospect of a race seat was looming. "There are no plans to race at the moment. The plan for me is to drive Fridays and help the team."

He was convinced to return simply because it was better than the alternative.

"We talked about this for the first time a long time ago. At the very beginning I wasn't interested in this type of role but when you're sitting at home for a couple of months watching other people drive it makes you think 'I'd actually like to have a go'.

"Just before Malaysia I had a chat with Tony (Fernandes, team owner) and sasked 'Do you think I could do something for the team still? The idea we had earlier?'

"And he said 'sure'."

MORE EXPERIENCED

He played down a suggestion that his presence could be seen as him stalking the race seats currently occupied by Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, who have struggled to compete with their Marussia rivals so far in 2013.

"Naturally, if I'm pushing, then I hope that wil,  makes them even quicker but they've already done a good job for 2013; the car is not easy to drive.

"The guys don't necessarily know how good this car could be or if it is at the maximum. This is where we're giving them guidance - trying different things seeing if we can make it a more balanced car."

Ultimately, however, Kovalainen could not deny that his real ambition was to race again.

"Of course I want to race. Being here puts me in a better position if a race drive ever becomes available here - or even elsewhere."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.

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