AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Lotus has selected Formula One veteran Heikki Kovalainen to drive the last two races of the 2013 season in place of injured Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen, who is leaving Lotus for Ferrari in 2014, will miss the U.S. Grand Prix this weekend and the final race in Brazil on 2014 after opting for back surgery.
Kovalainen has started 109 Grand Prix in previous stints with Renault, McLaren, and Caterham. He finished 18th for Caterham at the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas last year but hasn’t raced in Formula One this season.
Team principle Eric Boullier said Lotus chose the veteran Kovalainen over reserve Davide Valsecchi in part because the team is still fighting for a better position in the constructor’s championship, where it currently sits in fourth.
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