Lotus confirms Heikki Kovalainen to replace Kimi Raikkonen

The Lotus Formula 1 team has confirmed that Heikki Kovalainen will replace Kimi Raikkonen in the final two races of the 2013 season.

Raikkonen announced he would miss the remaining races in the United States and Brazil in order to have back surgery ahead of his return to Ferrari next season.

Lotus contacted other drivers, including Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg, but chose Kovalainen after they declined the offer.

Kovalainen returns to racing action for the first time since the end of last season, when he lost his seat at Caterham.

The Finn has been acting as a third driver for Caterham this year, with practice outings in Bahrain, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Japan and Abu Dhabi.

Lotus decided against using reserve driver and GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi, although it said it had “every faith” in his abilities.

“Obviously we had to move quickly click here for more