JULY 5, 2013
Mika Salo expects 2013 race return for Kovalainen
Former F1 driver Mika Salo is expecting a return to formula one for Finnish countryman Heikki Kovalainen to "snap into place soon".
The highly-rated Kovalainen, ousted by Caterham at the end of last year in favour of sponsored 2014 drivers, is now being linked with the underperforming Dutchman Giedo van der Garde's cockpit.
Told by Sky reporter Ted Kravitz at Silverstone last week that van der Garde is "not doing the business for you", Caterham chief executive Riad Asmat dodged the answer.
"He'll come back next week, for sure," Asmat answered.
Indeed, van der Garde is still occupying the Caterham race seat at the Nurburgring.
But Salo, now a pundit for Finnish television MTV3, thinks Kovalainen is definitely waiting in the wings.
"Heikki's situation with Caterham right now is at an exciting time," he said.
"Things will snap into place soon, and I hope it's Heikki back in a race car.
"Actually I expected it to happen at Silverstone," Salo admitted.
Salo, the former Sauber and Toyota driver, said Kovalainen's mid-season return to F1 in 2013 would be timely.
"If he does get to race (in 2013) then he will be in a strong position for next season," he predicted, "because there are not many experienced drivers available on the market.
"For example, Lotus may have two seats open for next year," added Salo.