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'Lotus stint hurt Kovalainen's career'

Monday 10-February-2014 06:13

Although Tony Fernandes concedes it was "cold" to part ways with Heikki Kovalainen, he says the Finn's failed Lotus drive hurt his reputation.

Acting as a test driver for Caterham last season, Kovalainen returned to the grid for the US GP and Brazil when Lotus called him up to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

His two-race return, though, was anything but a success.

Although he qualified eighth and 11th respectively, Kovalainen dropped places in both races, finishing P14.

And although he was hotly tipped to take a Caterham race-seat for 2014, his disappointing comeback ultimately resulted in the team opting instead to sign Kamui Kobayashi.

"Obviously we would lie if that we said it didn't play a part," Fernandes told Autosport.

"It was a whole mixture of a lot of things but in any decision there are pros and cons.

"I am egalitarian, I put it out to various team members - there were those pro Heikki and those pro Kamui and I had to make a choice."

The Caterham team principal added: "We have to move on, we have to be a little bit cold, if we want to be successful."

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