Valsecchi likely to replace Raikkonen for final races, but Hulkenberg also a candidate

Davide Valsecchi is Lotus reserve

Davide Valsecchi is Lotus reserve

Two candidates have emerged as possible replacements for the surgery-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the remaining two grands prix of the year.

If the Quantum Motorsport investment arrives at the Enstone based team, German driver Nico Hulkenberg is Lotus’ preferred choice to succeed Raikkonen permanently for 2014.

But given Raikkonen’s premature exit, does he have a chance to switch from Sauber a couple of races early?

“Not likely,” Hulkenberg’s manager Werner Heinz told Bild newspaper. “No one has talked with us about that.”

Nico Hulkenberg could swap from Sauber to Lotus for two final races of 2013

Nico Hulkenberg could swap from Sauber to Lotus for two final races of 2013

In reality, the hot favourite is Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who since winning last year’s GP2 title has been waiting patiently for his chance.

However, the Italian was surprised when a correspondent for the Italian magazine Autosprint phoned him on Sunday.

“I don’t know anything,” said Valsecchi. “I haven’t heard anything from the team and I was not at the factory last week. “Not even the people I talk to regularly at Enstone said anything.”

This suggests that Lotus were caught totally unawares by Raikkonen’s decision, while Valsecchi said that he will travel to Austin, on Tuesday, as per his existing arrangements.

“If something happens, I’m ready,” he insisted. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • iceman 2.0

    Lotus was caught totally off-guard by the sudden but well calculated move of team ‘red-kimi’. The poor gold-black guys really got into deep crap. No chance of improving their standing. Lopez is sure giving a mouthful to Alane the ‘track-master’. Valsecchi can however be used to take care of few red and silver guys upfront at ‘lights out’.

  • Spartacus

    And I’m sure Ferrari is giving Massa such an elaborate and grand farewell so he will not “suddenly” abandon his red car and jump into a black and gold one.

  • ZombieJebus

    Why the media insist Hulk would join another team that can’t pay it’s bills simply mystifies me. Especially with at least one seat at Mclaren up for grabs and the plethora of seats likely to be open in 2015.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Lotus, suck $#!£. You didn’t pay Kimi, bitched about him wanting a better steering, built a long wheel base car for Grosjean, never got Grosjean out of Kimi’s way, then yelled when Kimi didn’t get out of Grosjean’s way, and now he left you in the lurch. You deserve all the insults you are getting. Now your saviour is a sleazy liar with money that has not arrived for 6 months after it was promised. Instead Kimi went to a team that will pay him and support him, not abuse him. Lovely!

  • Lennyz

    Everyone knows Raikkonen will be replaced by Pedro de la Rosa or Alexander Wurz, it’s a tradition !