Briatore: US GP showed that Lotus made very bad choice with Kovalainen

Flavio Briatore with Heikki Kovalainen during the Renaul F1 team launch in 2007

Flavio Briatore with Heikki Kovalainen during the Renaul F1 team launch in 2007

Formula 1 returnee Heikki Kovalainen has responded to his former Renault manager Flavio Briatore, after the Italian claimed that Lotus should not have signed him.

Drafted in to replace the injured Kimi Raikkonen for the last two races of 2013, fellow Finn Kovalainen initially impressed in Austin last weekend but finished the US Grand Prix a disappointing 15th.

Briatore, Kovalainen’s former manager and Renault team boss, reportedly observed that Lotus clearly got its choice wrong, and should have promoted reserve driver Davide Valsecchi instead.

“The US Grand Prix showed that Lotus made a very bad choice [by] choosing Kovalainen,” Briatore reportedly said.

When told about Briatore’s remarks, Kovalainen said in Brazil on Thursday: “I don’t have any problem with Flavio.

“I don’t want to have a fight with him,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.

Heikki Kovalainen in the mix during the US GP

Heikki Kovalainen in the mix during the US GP

“He said what he said and as an Italian, he is clearly of the opinion that Valsecchi should be driving. I can understand that.

“Of course it’s easy to say something when the race goes bad,” added Kovalainen. “But hopefully he also remembers to praise me when the race goes well.”

Kovalainen revealed that Lotus engineers initially thought he had struggled in Austin because of a broken wing.

“Only later it became clear that it was a bag stuck in the right front brake duct,” he said. “The aerodynamics were affected really badly,” he added.

Kovalainen said that he has been impressed with the performance of Lotus’ 2013 car.

“I’m not surprised that Kimi has had such good results with this car,” he said. “You can tell right away that the balance is really good and the package is strong overall.” (GMM)

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  • Doombeard

    Yeah, because Briatore is such a vision of honesty and truth…not

  • Erich Lacher

    Passport picture is a little too old and opinions a litlle too old fassioned.

  • Spartacus

    The real question is who would he get to crash to allow his protégée to win?

  • Richard Piers

    Co-Op Deputy Chairman ?
    Why don’t these have beens or never should have beens just zip it !

  • Boycottthebull

    If Briatore was Kovalainen’s former manager and this is what he goes around saying about him no wonder Hekki had trouble finding a seat for himself! With friends like that ….you know the rest.

  • McLarenfan

    Flavio Briatore another slime ball whose opinion is not wanted or required let him slither back to the hole in the ground he came from the low life cheat.

  • coefficient

    Briatore is a fat bloated arogant prick that knows nothing about modern F1. He is a relic of the wheeler dealer era of the 80s and early 90s. He regularly makes these uncalled for swipes at people in F1 because he is bitter that F1 no longer welcomes him. The guy is a disgusting example of a human being and he should be ignored entirely.

  • paul sem

    Coefficient….spot on mate, I couldn’t add a thing.

  • ZombieJebus

    And Singapore 2008 showed Renault and F1 made a bad choice with Briatore.