Those sympathetic to reserve driver Davide Valsecchi being passed over as Kimi Raikkonen's stand-in will cite Heikki Kovalainen's 14th place in the United States Grand Prix as evidence that Lotus made the wrong decision.
But the Finn was on course for a points finish, perhaps eighth place, when a front wing problem robbed him of downforce. Those who would point to the fact that the sister Lotus of Romain Grosjean finished a strong second, making Kovalainen's performance look mediocre in comparison, fail to realise just how difficult it is to flourish in such a situation.
The fact that Kovalainen qualified in the top 10 and likely would have scored points had that wing problem, which forced a second pitstop for a nose change, and a KERS failure not intervened, was about as good as it could get for anyone in that situation.
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.
Edd Straw is Editor-in-Chief of Autosport, overseeing both print and digital versions of the brand. Edd has worked for Autosport since joining as a junior reporter in 2002. He became Editor in November 2014, having previously worked as National Editor, News Editor and Grand Prix Editor.
Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he joined Autosport shortly after graduating from university. He went on to cover a wide range of categories from club motorsport to the World Touring Car Championship and Le Mans to Formula 3 before switching to F1 full-time at the 2008 French Grand Prix. He continues to cover a range of international events in his position as Editor-in-Chief.
In his spare time, he was formerly a club racer whose abilities did not match his enthusiasm in a variety of categories.