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Kovalainen's Lotus stand-in form hurt his bid for Caterham F1 seat

Heikki Kovalainen F1 2013

Heikki Kovalainen's disappointing form with Lotus last year played a part in Caterham's decision not to give him a 2014 Formula 1 race seat.

Long-time Caterham driver Kovalainen was initially poised for a return to the grid this season, having stepped back into a reserve role last year after racing for the team from 2010-12.

He was then called up to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus when his fellow Finn pulled out of the final two grands prix of last season, but failed to score a point.

Caterham subsequently decided to give its 2014 race drives to Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson, and team chief Tony Fernandes admitted that Kovalainen's Lotus performances had helped swing the decision against him.

"Obviously we would lie if that we said it didn't play a part," Fernandes said.

"It was a whole mixture of a lot of things but in any decision there are pros and cons.

"I am egalitarian, I put it out to various team members - there were those pro Heikki and those pro Kamui and I had to make a choice."

Fernandes admitted it had been a "cold" process parting with Kovalainen after his role in the team's growth.

"We have to move on, we have to be a little bit cold, if we want to be successful," he said.

Kovalainen has yet to announce any plans for the 2014 season.

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