2012 driver lineup in place, for now – Fernandes

Tony Fernandes on Sunday moved to clarify the uncertainty surrounding his F1 team’s driver lineup for 2012. With Team Lotus becoming Caterham next season, current drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli both have contracts to stay put. But there have been rumours that Finn Kovalainen has attracted interest from rival teams, possibly Renault.

Boss Fernandes told Reuters at Interlagos: “I’ll hold on to him whatever.”

There has also been speculation about Jarno Trulli’s seat, with reports Fernandes is in talks with Red Bull to accomodate one of the energy drink’s new hopefuls Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne.

“Right now we have a contract and he (Trulli) will race,” Fernandes said, without elaborating.

Rival boss Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, closed the 2011 season by denying McLaren’s preparations for next season will be affected by aerodynamicist John Iley’s defection to Caterham.

“John looked after wind tunnel management. He wasn’t chief aerodynamicist,” he is quoted by the Mirror.

“We are very comfortable we have good aerodynamics programme for next season,” added Whitmarsh.


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