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Heikki Kovalainen not counting on full-time race seat

Apr 18, 2013, 3:00 PM EST

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews Getty Images

Heikki Kovalainen may be making his Formula One comeback at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix in Friday practice, but the Finn is unlikely to make a full-time return to racing anytime soon.

“Of course I want to race,” he told Sky Sports. “Being here puts me in a better position if a race drive ever becomes available here, or even somewhere else.

“But right now I have no plans to race.”

After a disappointing start to the season, rumors had begun to circulate suggesting that Caterham could replace Charles Pic or Giedo van der Garde with Kovalainen, who raced for the team between 2010 and 2012. However, the one-time grand prix winner insists that he is not getting ahead of himself.

“I made it very clear that this is my position and if it leads to not having a race drive then that’s what it does. I’ve kept myself fit and kept in touch with people here. If something comes up, I’ll be ready to jump in.”

Kovalainen rejected racing in any series besides Formula One, despite the likes of Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi finding success in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“In this part of my career, Formula 1 is what really interests me. I could still do a lot of good things here. I’ve left the door open here, kept looking and working at the same time to make sure that if something happens, I’m ready.”

It is hard to tell quite where Kovalainen stands with Caterham without knowing more about his financial backing. However, this free practice run-out suggests that he could be closing on a return to the sport, although it is unclear whether that will be with his old team or not.

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