Davide Valsecchi unsure if he would be a reserve driver again after Lotus snub

Team opted not to promote Italian to race seat in the USA and Brazil

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 18/11/13 4:39pm

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Davide Valsecchi speaks of his frustration after being overlooked as Kimi Raikkonen's replacement.

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Davide Valsecchi has admitted he is unsure if he would serve as an F1 team's reserve driver again after being overlooked by Lotus when seeking a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.

Having joined the Enstone-based outfit following his triumph in the 2012 GP2 Series, the Italian has travelled to every grand prix with the team, but found driving time limited to 16 laps deputising for an ill Raikkonen in pre-season testing and a day at July's Young Driver Test.

With the Finn forced to miss the final two races of the season due to back surgery, many had expected Valsecchi to be promoted to a race seat, but having been passed over he now feels a year as reserve driver could have hurt his career.

"I don't know to be honest," he told Sky Sports F1 when asked if he would accept the role again.

"My career is getting not in a fantastic way, but we will see, I don't know yet to be honest. It will not be easy to recover from this position - I am the test driver for Lotus, I was the GP2 Champion, I was close to having a chance but I missed it so from the sport side it is not so good for me.

"I don't know (if I will remain with Lotus). I have a contract signed until the end of the season and at the end of the season we will see what the thinking is of everyone. My management are the bosses of Lotus so we will see what they decide."

However, whilst upset at being overlooked, the Italian admits he understands the reasons Lotus approached the experienced Heikki Kovalainen and the in-form Nico Hulkenberg.

"I am a bit disappointed, but I think that is normal," he added.

"My team is fighting in the championship, third position is incredibly important for us, so they chose Kovalainen thinking that experience and being used to being in Formula 1 can help the team to reach third position.

"I am not angry. To be honest they would have liked to have signed Hulkenberg which is normal as he is a good driver and doing a good job at the moment and then after Hulkenberg I was hoping they were thinking Valsecchi.

"But they went for Kovalainen, I was hoping to beat him in the judgement but I lost it. So for me it is a big loss on the sport side, but I hope in the future to have a chance to show my quality, but in Formula 1 that is not easy. Last year I was a champion, this year I am just a bit more than a normal one, so the feeling is not great, but I will recover don't worry."

Indeed, that positivity is a characteristic that radiates from the 26-year-old who is still hoping he might get an unlikely F1 break before the end of the season.

"The team had to make an important decision with two races remaining to fight Ferrari and the experience and with so many years racing in Formula 1, including one very competitive year with McLaren, they went for Kovalainen because for them it was a bit more safety, a bit more guarantee of a result," he added.

"So I didn't get the chance that I was hoping to have, but I hope to have another one. The championship is not over yet so there could be another one, things can change very quickly in life."

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