It has been announced today that Heikki Kovalainen has joined IMG Worldwide as his new management team, as well as being represented for all future commercial interests.
At the same time, Kovalainen is testing the new Caterham CT01 in Jerez and believes that it is a big step closer to the midfield cars than was his 2011 model. The Caterham has full use of KERS for the first time and this alone is worth around 4/10ths of a second per lap.
“Just looking the timesheets we’re closer than we’ve been before. We’ve done proper running, we haven’t done any show runs, so fingers crossed,” said the Finn in Jerez.
The move to IMG, which will provide contractual negotiation, legal services and PR and marketing expertise, will see Kovalainen being predominantly looked after by Martin Anayi, who also manages three time World Champion Jackie Stewart. “He is a very talented and marketable driver who has competed at the top level since 2007. We are looking forward to assisting and supporting him to achieve further success both on and off the track.” Said Anayi, a senior executive in IMG Motorsport.
Kovalainen will also be joining Danica Patrick, the only female winner in the IndyCar Series and current competitor in Nascar, at the management firm.
The Finn found much success early in his career as he was supported by the Renault Driver Development programme. During this time he won the World Series by Nissan title followed by runner-up in GP2 in 2005. Kovalainen will be hoping that this next step in his career will allow him to lead Caterham F1 as their first driver. “With the team we have assembled, it will allow me to concentrate on my driving and put even more time into working with the engineers and dedicate myself completely to leading the team to win its first point in F1,” added Kovalainen.