Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Interlagos, 2012

Kovalainen doesn’t want to be a pay driver

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Heikki Kovalainen says he has told his management team not to look for money to support his F1 career.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Kovalainen rules out becoming a ‘pay driver’ (Reuters)

“We are looking at other options… but even the other options require some money, teams asking for money, and I don’t want to go that route.”

Kamui Support (Japanese)

Kamui Kobayashi has set up a website where his fans can contribute to support his racing career after losing his seat at Sauber.

Esteban Gutierrez: “I don?t know if I am ready yet” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“To be honest I don?t know if I’m ready yet. I think when I?m going to be living the position of being an F1 driver next season, then I?m going to know if I was ready or not! But definitely I feel that I was comfortable to do the next step in my career.”

Sergio Perez Q&A: I?m ready for the pressures of McLaren (F1)

“In Japan I made a mistake and in Korea we had an issue with the pit stop. Abu Dhabi saw the contact with Grosjean. It was not my fault so I don?t understand why I got a penalty there. And at the last race in Austin it looked okay but then I ran into problems with the brakes. So there you have it – various calamities which ruined my chances of a better position in the standings.”

Lewis Hamilton's helmet, McLaren, Interlagos, 2012Tearful Lewis Hamilton discusses McLaren exit (BBC)

“It was the most difficult call I’ve ever had to make because we’d grown so close and [Martin Whitmarsh] had been so supportive and I didn’t want to let people down. But at the end of the day you have to let people down sometimes to make decisions.”

Whitmarsh wants Lewis return (Sky)

“We’d have him back, yes. So let’s hope it’s just a gap year.”

Wasted: Hamilton says he left three world titles on the table at McLaren (The Mirror)

“Should I have had more championships? Absolutely. I feel I drove really well in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009 I was ready to do the same. 2010 was not bad. 2011 was not good so I don?t feel I deserved to win that year.”

Sauber’s poor pace concerns drivers (Autosport)

Sergio Perez: “The heat just doesn’t suit us,” he said. “I found the car difficult to drive this afternoon and I think some big changes are required. Let’s see how we can improve.”

F1 economic tally could take months to add up (Austin-American Statesman)

“Not everyone who attended the race had to purchase a ticket. Of the more than 110,000 tickets sold, track spokeswoman Ali Putnam said, 60 percent of the buyers were from outside Texas and the remainder were Texas residents. She said 15 percent of the ticket buyers came from 46 countries, primarily Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and a mix of Western European and Central/South American countries.”

La Ferrari per la gloria Alonso anche per i bonus (La Stampa, Italian)

La Stamps claims Fernando Alonso will receive a ??10m (??8m) bonus if he wins the drivers’ championship tomorrow.

Raging McLaren chief Dennis snubbed Hamilton’s goodbye party (Daily Mail)

“McLaren chairman Ron Dennis was the only notable absentee from Hamilton?s leaving function on the pool terrace of the Hilton hotel in Austin, Texas, last Saturday.”


Comment of the day

Many readers were disappointed to see Kobayashi lose his seat – a subject of a recent Comment of the Day – but @Hotbottoms was a dissenting voice:

I don?t get it why everyone?s so upset about Kobayashi losing his Sauber seat.

Sure, his debut drive in 2009 was promising and great entertainment and he?s also Japanese, but has he really proven enough to get his fourth full season in Formula One instead of a rookie getting his shot?

It?s true that Mexican money helped Gutierrez, but Sauber might’ve let Kobayashi go anyway. Or at least they chose Hulkenberg over him.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Heart of the Sunrise!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

It’s six years to the day since McLaren announced Lewis Hamilton would make his debut for them in F1 in 2007. Hamilton became the first rookie to start his first race with McLaren since Jan Magnussen 12 years earlier, and the first to start a new season with them since Michael Andretti in 1993.

However tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix will mark Hamilton’s last race for the team that gave him his F1 break.

Images ?? Caterham/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei

103 comments on “Kovalainen doesn’t want to be a pay driver”

Jump to comment page: 1 2
  1. Much as I appreciate where he’s coming from, and I don’t like F1 seats being decided on money any more than anyone else, the fact that inevitably that Will be one of the deciding factors makes telling your management not to look for sponsors sit somewhere on the scale between foolish and downright idiotic.

    No-one likes it, Heikki, but we’d rather see you in F1 than out of it. Swallow your pride and look for some sponsors.

  2. I can feel for Heikki, I really can. I don’t have a problem with pay drivers or the philosophy so much but for someone who’s an established force in the sport and a race winner it is sad. I can respect his decision and while I don’t want to see him go, I definitely don’t want to see him have to make ends meet for his seat year in year out.

  3. I think the fact is a good driver nowadays brings money into the team as well. While I do not like it that in some cases money is more important that skill you need to admit that drivers who often times get backing are not the worst ones. When climbing up the ladders the ones with most potential tend to get picked. Not always but more often than not. Nationality often times counts too but it is not all there is either.

    One major part of new and upcoming drivers’ job is to find sponsors so they can keep on working and racing getting to the top. Why should getting sponsors suddenly stop altogether when you get to the top or close to being there?

    And this is even more true if you are not one of the top drivers – or if you are new and unrated driver.

    I think Kovalainen’s opinion about pay drivers is very much an ideological one and not realistic one. What he seems to be saying is that once you go pay driver you can never go back. That is simply not true. Top teams always want skilled drivers and they will never turn you down if you also being money into the team.

    And in modern f1 you need to be in midfield team to have a chance to get into top team. Getting a seat in midfield team means that your skill is not the only thing that matters. If you are not setting the world on fire or if you simply can not prove that you are doing so because of bad car you need to bring money. If Kovalainen had to being 20 millions to force india to get a seat would anyone care if he did bring the money and then did good job as well?

Jump to comment page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.