Briatore: US GP showed that Lotus made very bad choice with Kovalainen 22 November, 2013 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 “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) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsBarrichello says he nearly replaced Raikkonen for final two racesValsecchi: It’s a huge blow to lose out to Kovalainen who is not a great championLotus set to announce Kovalainen as Raikkonen replacement for USA and BrazilLopez: Raikkonen’s operation comes at a very unfortunate time for LotusSalo suggests that Lotus replaces Raikkonen with Kovalainen for USA and BrazilSalo backs Raikkonen’s surgery over Lotus finaleEcclestone: I feel sorry for Raikkonen, he signed a contract and they need to pay himKovalainen: I was anticipating that it would be easier to come back and race competitivelyLotus: A disappointing way to end what has been a strong season for the teamLotus: Rather disappointing as the car has been performing well in wet conditions, 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.