There is two sides to every coin and while Lotus F1 have been taking a beating on Twitter from some very impressive F1 journalists, I think I understand their position. Not endorsing anything but simply trying to understand.
Davide Valsecchi is the reserve driver for the team but when Kimi Raikkonen announced he wouldn’t be driving for the last two races of the season, Lotus was not very quick to announce that their reserve driver, Valsecchi, would be standing in.
The reason, I believe, is that the team are fighting for 2nd in the Constructor’s Championship and the prize money delta between 2nd and 3rd is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million—not chump change for a team who needs the cash.
To those ends, Lotus is said to have reached out to Michael Schumacher, who has current Formula 1 car experience, to see if he might be interested. Now…before you get all snarky with that, you have to applaud the idea of getting some great PR and a guy who could score points with their car. Unfortunately Michael wasn’t interested.
It is also said that the team reached out to Nico Hulkenberg, which many believe is in the hunt for Kimi’s empty seat in 2014, but apparently he turned down the opportunity as well making some wonder if he isn’t going elsewhere for 2014.
Now it is believed that Heikki Kovalainen will be the replacement for Kimi Raikkonen for the final two races of the season kicking off with this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin Texas.
Interesting to note, however, that Schumacher’s press agent thought it important to take the Lotus offer opportunity to set the record straight about the 7-time champion’s driving abilities during his comeback with Mercedes telling Bild:
“Michael would still be fit enough but he has a new life. I don’t find it unusual that people ask.
“Many people changed their assessment about Michael because of Nico Rosberg’s recent performances compared to those of Lewis Hamilton.
“Michael drove as well as Nico, just as Nico is driving as well as Lewis.”
That’s almost as uniquely odd as Lotus not giving their reserve driver a chance to shine.