Heikki Kovalainen could be heading to Pirelli as a test driver. However Pirelli’s boxx Paul Hembery has said that the Finn’s future will depend on whether Pirelli’s contract to supply F1 tyres is extended or not.
“This question is still open,” Hembery told Finland’s Turun Sanomat.
The highly-rated former Renault, McLaren and Caterham driver Kovalainen, 31, is the latest victim of the rise of ‘pay drivers’ in F1.
Hembery continued: “When everything has been resolved, we will see what the situation is with our test drivers.” He confirmed that Pirelli’s 2012 test duo Jaime Alguersuari and Lucas di Grassi are still very much in the frame.
“But Heikki would be an excellent candidate,” added Hembery. “He is a highly experienced driver. I really believe that he is one of the strongest candidates to be with us.”
Finnish rally legend Juha Kankkunen, however, thinks Kovalainen should give a career in rallying a chance.
“I think it would be a perfectly reasonable alternative for Heikki, but so too is DTM or Le Mans,” he told the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti. “But I have seen Heikki in a rally car on the frozen lake in Kuusamo (Finland) and he is an excellent driver, with real talent.”