Caterham backs drivers despite speculation that Kovalainen will be back

Cyril Abiteboul with Heikki Kovalainen

Cyril Abiteboul with Heikki Kovalainen

Caterham CEO Cyril Abiteboul has backed the team’s all new driver lineup, amid suggestions that the team’s  former driver Heikki Kovalainen should be drafted back in to the team.

For the first time since its 2010 debut, the green-liveried team appeared to falter, early this season, with an outdated car and in the wake of experienced driver Kovalainen’s departure.

Finn Kovalainen reappeared in Friday practice in Bahrain and Spain, triggering rumours that he might soon replace either rookie Giedo van der Garde – slammed by Mark Webber in Canada as a ‘pay driver with no mirrors’ – or Charles Pic.

Abiteboul told Formula 1’s official website: “[Kovalainen] definitely helped in the couple of sessions he ran, and in the feedback he gave.”

But there is no sign that the 31-year-old will appear again, even if Finnish commentator for MTV3, Oskari Saari, said: “I still believe [that] he will race this season.”

For now, Abiteboul is backing van der Garde (who will drop five places on the Silverstone grid after his crash with Webber in Canada) and Frenchman Pic.

“Same as with the team, I’d like to evaluate both drivers properly at the right moment, but for now I think both are making progress in parallel,” he said. (GMM)

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