Heikki Kovalainen admits he does not know if he will have a drive in F1 next year.
Finn's future could depend on getting 10th spot in Constructors'
By William Esler. Last Updated: 24/11/12 11:07am
Heikki Kovalainen admits he still does not know if he will be on the Formula 1 grid next year - with his future at Caterham seemingly dependant on money.
Kovalainen's stock hit rock bottom after two difficult seasons at McLaren, but he has impressed with his performances for the backmarkers since joining the 'new team' in 2010.
A key factor in whether the team retain the Finn or not could be if they manage to retake 10th spot in the Constructors' Championship from Marussia - and with it millions in extra prize money.
"I don't know yet - it is as simple as that," Kovalainen told David Croft on The F1 Show.
"It is all still up in the air waiting to see what Caterham does and then once we see that decision it will be more clear. So we are nowhere."
With teams struggling for funding in the current economic climate, drivers with financial backing have become increasingly popular - so-called 'pay drivers.' His current team-mate Vitaly Petrov brings money from Russia, whilst Caterham's new recruit, Charles Pic, is also well funded. But bringing sponsorship is something the 31-year-old says he is not prepared to do.
"There is nothing really I can do about it," he added. "I have made my stance quite clear and now it is up to the team to decide.
"I feel I have done everything I can and I have had good seasons here - and I can't do more than that. It is a shame if it ends like this, but it is what it is.
Heikki's F1 stats
- Starts - 108
- Wins - 1
- Podiums - 4
- Poles - 1
- Career points - 105
- Teams - Renault, McLaren, Lotus/Caterham
"I think it is down to money. I don't have money to bring and even if I did I wouldn't necessary do it. I think if you go that road, there has to be a clear plan and some clear results otherwise there is no point in that.
"I haven't actively looked for any sponsorship or any money and teams require money. They don't have money to pay drivers and I think it is as simple as that."
Kovalainen is currently on an 18-race finishing streak, but if Brazil is to be his last Grand Prix, he has set himself one clear goal.
"I don't go to a race thinking OK I will finish this race - I take every opportunity. The target for this weekend has got to be 12th in the race - we have to get that."