In all the drama of the 11th hour arrival at the Austin circuit yesterday of Heikki Kovalainen, there were strong words from Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who was passed over for the promotion.
GP2 champion Valsecchi has attended every race this year in Lotus colours, waiting for the chance to drive the car, but when the opportunity presented itself, with the injury to Kimi Raikkonen, the team went for Kovalainen.
The Italian was called by team principal Eric Boullier on Wednesday and given the news. They went with Kovalainen because of his greater race experience in F1 and his recent Friday practice experience with Caterham.
Valsecchi did not hide his disappointment when speaking to Italian media yesterday,
“It’s a huge blow to me,” he said. “From the sporting point of view it’s a tragedy. It makes me angry to have lost the battle with Kovalainen who is not a great champion, not even an active driver; his last results were five years ago.
“If they had taken Hulkenberg I could have understood, even Maldonado, but this…
“I was sure that from the point of view of motivation and desire to achieve, the team would have taken me and I would have been right up there.
“Perhaps I lack experience but what chance do you have to gain any? Nevertheless, things change quickly in F1, so I won’t give up and I will be ready if they need me in Brazil.”