Kovalainen denies risk of sitting out races

Heikki Kovalainen insists there is no chance he might be the next Team Lotus driver asked to step aside.

Italy’s Autosprint argues that Jarno Trulli so readily agreed to vacate his T128 for Karun Chandhok at the Nurburgring on the promise of a new deal for 2012.

Trulli’s regular teammate Kovalainen, however, insists there is no chance he will also have to move aside at some point this season.

“It is not an option,” the Finn told Turun Sanomat newspaper. “There is no such agreement and I will not accept that my car is given to someone else.”

Kovalainen, 29, explained that occasionally vacating his green car for a practice session is a different matter.

“I accept that even though I don’t really like it,” he said. “If next year we are driving for points then I think we should do all of the seasons, but right now if you miss a practice it’s not so critical.”

Italian Trulli is expected to return to his green cockpit in Hungary next weekend, but Chandhok said he isn’t sure if he will be back when his native India hosts its inaugural race in October.

“You will have to ask Tony Fernandes,” he said. “I will definitely be there, but I don’t know yet know what my role for that weekend will be.”

Chandhok denied that his only goal for the weekend is to appear better than Trulli, who has struggled in 2011 with the car’s power steering system.

“It’s not about that, it’s about building for the future,” he insisted.

“I assume they want to see how we work together as a team. I admire Fernandes’ vision to build a team of Asian people, drivers and engineers and he seems very committed to the objective.”