July 22nd, 2013 (F1plus).- Heikki Kovalainen has played down rumours he is shaping up to oust the underperforming rookie Giedo van der Garde at Caterham.
The team, having earlier paid the highly rated Finn Kovalainen since formation in 2010, opted for a pair of sponsored drivers this year.
The Dutch driver has had a couple of forgettable consecutive outings, plus that awful race at Canada. Still, Van der Garde registered the highest ever qualifying in the history of Caterham by earning a 15th spot start for the Monaco Grand Prix.
But in the Silverstone and Nurburgring paddocks most recently, the rumour that Kovalainen could soon return to the wheel - in van der Garde's place - gained in strength.
"I think this (sort of rumour) is quite common in formula one, when someone has a bad race," Kovalainen told the Russian website f1news.ru.
"I have not had any negotiations with the team, and I have no plans to take someone else's place, so I don't know where it all comes from.
"I am calm about it, but if someone needs me, of course I'm ready," added Kovalainen.
Indeed, the 31-year-old is continuing to work with Caterham behind the scenes.
"Absolutely," he said. "I spend a lot of time with the designers and engineers, we have a brand new and very good simulator, and all of the team's efforts are aimed now at 2014.
"Of course my goal is to get back in the races, but my only plan at the moment is to keep working with Caterham, and doing everything I can to help.
"I have nothing more to add," said Kovalainen.