Whitmarsh pushed for Marussia seat for Kovalainen

(L to R): Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus with Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren

Heikki Kovalainen with Martin Whitmarsh

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted to trying to keep Heikki Kovalainen, a McLaren driver in 2008 and 2009, on the Formula 1 grid this season.

Finn Kovalainen has dropped out of formula one after Caterham replaced him for the forthcoming season with heavily sponsored Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde.

Lewis Hamilton, Kovalainen’s former teammate, said he thinks team bosses are “crazy” to have overlooked the highly rated 31-year-old in favour of pay-drivers.

At around the same time – just before Marussia announced Luiz Razia as Max Chilton’s 2013 teammate – Whitmarsh said he made efforts to help Kovalainen to secure that seat.

“I spoke with Heikki on Tuesday, when I thought about trying to help him with regards to Marussia,” he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper.

McLaren has a technical collaboration in place with Marussia. (GMM)