Dec 23, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Heikki Kovalainen is one of several drivers in the hunt for one of the two open seats at Caterham but with ex-Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi recently entering the picture, one could argue the Finn’s hopes for a full-time Formula One ride in 2014 are fading.
However, the Finn has told homeland broadcaster MTV3 that talks with the Leafield, UK-based team are still ongoing and that he is preparing for the upcoming season.
“I have been maintaining my training program for Formula One as much as possible,” he said. “I will have a normal F1 driver’s winter. The only difference to previous years is that I do not currently have a contract for next season.
“But this has happened more than once in my career, when I didn’t know what awaited me for the future but eventually I had something.”
Kovalainen raced for Lotus Racing/Caterham for three seasons before both he and Vitaly Petrov were dumped after the 2012 season in favor of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic.
But the team eventually brought Kovalainen back as a reserve driver before letting him go to Lotus to replace Kimi Raikkonen in the final two events of 2013 at Austin and Interlagos – a venture that proved unsuccessful on the scoreboard as he was unable to earn any points for Lotus in those events.
According to Kovalainen, his “most serious negotiations” regarding a full-time return to F1 are with Caterham. However, he admitted that his 2014 plans are still up in the air.
“…All the different factors need to come together,” he warned. “In any case, it should be clarified by the end of January, when the tests begin. But I am not going to end my career.”
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