sport

Heikki looking to pay his way

Heikki Kovalainen insists he will not become a pay driver to secure his seat in Formula One or any other form of motor sport.

With Caterham announcing Charles Pic as one of their drivers for next season, it appears Kovalainen's days are numbered with regard to the Leafield-based team.

Although Caterham have not confirmed who Frenchman Pic replaces, the suggestion is both Kovalainen and team-mate Vitaly Petrov face their last race this weekend in Brazil as reserve Giedo van der Garde is expected to take the second seat.

It leaves Kovalainen and Petrov scrambling over the few remaining seats in F1, with a place available at each of Lotus, Force India , Williams and Marussia, whilst HRT's future is uncertain.

Pic, who has enjoyed a reasonable debut campaign this season with Marussia, is known to have financial backing given his father owns a lucrative trucking company in France.

Despite Kovalainen's six seasons in the sport and with over 100 races to his credit, it appears his experience counts for nothing against the growing trend of teams taking on drivers who bring money.

"If it is the last race, it's a shame. The situation is quite tricky for me, and there's not much more I can do," said Kovalainen.

"But from experience I know it (a decision) is never good when it's this late in the season, but that's how it is.

"Whatever happens it won't be the end. I have a life, I'm not going to go and kill myself.

"We're looking at other options, in and out of F1, but even they require some money, and I don't want to go down that route.

"I've told my management not to actively find money. I don't think it leads to anything.

"If you had a big backer like Santander and they went with you that is a different thing.

"But to go out and collect money, it doesn't mean anything. It's not what I'm about, and it doesn't appeal to me."

After three years with his current team trying to help them up the grid, although they remain without a point during that time, the 31-year-old Finn still feels he has a valuable role to play at Caterham.

"I can contribute to anything. I've a lot of experience, and I've reached a good level," added Kovalainen.

"I rarely have bad races any more. Most of the time I get the best out of the team and the car, and I have a lot to offer.

"But the situation, the way it is now in Formula One, means it might not have room for me."