Kovalainen to Replace Razia at Marussia?
28th February 2013, 20:07 at 8:07 pm #132757
Listening to coverage of the Barcelona Test on Sky Sports F1, David Croft commented that Heikki Kovalainen is the man most likely to replace Luiz Razia should his sponsors not pay up. This strikes me as odd seeing as both Glock and Kovalainen were dropped from Marussia and Caterham respectively for not bringing sponsors and Marussia specifically stated they needed someone with money.
If this is true, it’d be a huge kick in the teeth for Timo.28th February 2013, 20:13 at 8:13 pm #227811
The rumors are that Kovalainen has McLaren backing him up. Perhaps offering Marussia their wind tunnel for a small charge (or free even)? I don’t know why they would be willing to pay for Kovalainen’s Marussia deal though…28th February 2013, 20:25 at 8:25 pm #227812
I don’t see any reason for McLaren to pay for Kova’s deal, though it could be possible that Kovalainen has gotten some sponsorship behind him from somewhere else. Either way I would prefer to see him in the Marussia seat than Razia.28th February 2013, 20:29 at 8:29 pm #227813
@RagingInferno – I agree, although there could be something in this for McLaren. If someone is sponsoring Kovalainen providing he gets a seat, and has promised to offer something to anyone who helps him there, McLaren could profit if they can get Kovy the seat. This is entirely likely with Marussia as they can offer them quite a bit in return for taking a driver. We have no way of knowing what goes on behind the scenes but for there to be stories of Whitmarsh and McLaren backing Kovalainen, they have to be getting something out it.28th February 2013, 20:30 at 8:30 pm #227814
I’d be very surprised if McLaren were backing Kovaleinen. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I could understand them thinking that he was the best driver available, that MAY bring a few minor sponsors, but that would be it.
As Bradley mentioned a moment ago to me, I think that with Bianchi now available, it would be a good chance for Ferrari to give him some mileage, and perhaps Marussia could spring a deal with Ferrari engines as a result? This would be a huge boost to them for next year at the very least.28th February 2013, 20:32 at 8:32 pm #227815
@jamiefranklinf1 That move would make a lot more sense to me, and I’d love to see Bianchi in an F1 car, even if it is only a Marussia.28th February 2013, 20:36 at 8:36 pm #227816
@RagingInferno – Have you watched Bianchi in lower categories?! He’s a menace. It’s like Maldonado and Grosjean combined! To put him in an F1 car would be guaranteeing an accident as least every other race. Kovalainen, while a lot less likely, would be a much better option for Marussia, regardless of the Ferrari engine deal.28th February 2013, 20:40 at 8:40 pm #22781728th February 2013, 20:45 at 8:45 pm #227818
But a driver can only do so much for a team. We’ve heard comments about the difference between the Cosworth engine and the Renault engine, from Pic during test and of course from Williams once they had switched from Cosworth to Renault, and in the case of Williams, they went from a disastrous season in 2011, to a pretty fantastic one in 2012. Was it all down to aero, or was the engine far superior as well?
As nice of a guy as Heikki is, and his experience is obviously a good thing for a team like Marussia., I don’t think it would compare to the improvements they could get from using a Ferrari engine (If that were the case from running Bianchi). Especially, if they were somehow able to use the Ferrari engine this year, which I believe would boost Marussia closer to the midfield, and above Caterham.28th February 2013, 20:54 at 8:54 pm #227819
@JamieFranklinF1 – I’m sure there is some clause in the contract with Cosworth to say they can’t break it for this year, and if they do they owe them about 1 bazillion euros :P28th February 2013, 21:24 at 9:24 pm #227820
Ilta-Sanomat has a couple of new reports:
Freely translated: “Strong pit lane rumours indicate that Marussia are going to produce a seat for Kovalainen already tonight.”
Freely translated: “The most recent rumour about Kovalainen is that he’d drive for Marussia only during the first couple of races that are held outside Europe. After that Marussia is going to seek a driver that brings money.”28th February 2013, 21:43 at 9:43 pm #227821
According to Ted’s notebook (we all know Ted gets all the inside gossip):
– It is looking less and less likely that Razia will be with the team come Melbourne as his sponsors from Brazil have failed to pay up.
– The ‘potential’ fight for the seat is between Heikki Kovalainen and Jules Bianchi however it is looking increasingly likely that the seat will go to the Finn.
– Heikki has reportedly gone for a seat fitting tonight with Marussia and it is also being reported that he will drive for free, saving Marussia the money of paying him (as they’d have had to do with Glock) but also not bringing in any sponsorship.28th February 2013, 21:47 at 9:47 pm #227822
I think that if Heikki gets the seat, we will see the best in him. Clearly by not taking pay, he just wants to keep himself in F1 so that he has another opportunity to prove his worth. I really hope that Marussia gets a good result in the fly-aways with him28th February 2013, 21:47 at 9:47 pm #227823
Sounds interesting. Maybe Kovaleinen will drive the first few races, and then Bianchi to take over, if Marussia can secure a deal with Ferrari? If not, then Kovaleinen will have a lot of work to do in order to ensure that Marussia see him as too invaluable to replace…28th February 2013, 21:49 at 9:49 pm #227824
Apparently Petrov and (oh no… not again) Karthikeyan… are being touted for the seat too. However these are (thankfully) unconfirmed sources and not from Ted.
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