The green-liveried team appeared to falter early this season
For the first time since its 2010 debut, the green-liveried team appeared to falter early this season with an outdated car and in the wake of experienced driver Kovalainen’s departure.
Finn Kovalainen reappeared in Friday practice in Bahrain and Spain, triggering rumours he might soon replace either rookie Giedo van der Garde – slammed by Mark Webber in Canada as a ‘pay driver with no mirrors’ – or Charles Pic.
Abiteboul told F1’s official website: “He (Kovalainen) definitely helped in the couple of sessions he ran, and in the feedback he gave.”
But there is no sign the 31-year-old will appear again, even if Finnish commentator for MTV3, Oskari Saari, said: “I still believe he will race this season.”
For now, Abiteboul is backing van der Garde, who will drop five places on the Silverstone grid after his crash with Webber in Canada, and Frenchman Pic.
“Same as with the team, I’d like to evaluate both drivers properly at the right moment, but for now I think both are making progress in parallel,” he said.