F1: Two candidates in frame for Raikkonen’s seat

From GMM

Two candidates have emerged as possible replacements for the surgery-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the remaining two grands prix of the year.

If the ‘Quantum’ investment arrives at the Enstone based team, German driver Nico Hulkenberg is Lotus’ preferred choice to succeed Raikkonen permanently for 2014.

But given Raikkonen’s premature exit, does he have a chance to switch from Sauber a couple of races early?

“Not likely,” Hulkenberg’s manager Werner Heinz told Bild newspaper. “No one has talked with us about that.”

In reality, the hot favourite is Lotus’ reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who since winning last year’s GP2 title has been waiting patiently for his chance.

F1 Lotus E21 Davide Valsecchi

Davide Valsecchi, Lotus E21. (Photo: WRi2)

However, the Italian was surprised when a correspondent for the Italian magazine Autosprint phoned him on Sunday.

“I don’t know anything,” said Davide Valsecchi. “I haven’t heard anything from the team and I was not at the factory last week. Not even the people I talk to regularly at Enstone said anything.”

Valsecchi said he will travel to Austin, as per his existing arrangements, on Tuesday.

“If something happens, I’m ready,” he insisted.

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