Kovalainen denies Briatore blocked F1 career

Heikki Kovalainen has denied media reports claiming his former manager Flavio Briatore twice prevented his Formula One race debut. A Finnish newspaper had said the Finn could have raced with Minardi and then Williams in 2004 and 2005, but ...

Heikki Kovalainen has denied media reports claiming his former manager Flavio Briatore twice prevented his Formula One race debut.

A Finnish newspaper had said the Finn could have raced with Minardi and then Williams in 2004 and 2005, but Kovalainen instead had to wait until 2007 for a race seat at the then Briatore-managed Renault to open up.

Kovalainen, now 29, subsequently split with Briatore after the crashgate scandal, and negotiated his own move from McLaren to Lotus for 2010.

But he wrote on Twitter late on Monday: "(The) news about my management blocking my career (is) so not true.

"We had (a) clear plan since I joined (the) Renault junior programme and stuck to it 100 per cent. Ignore the false headlines originating from Finland," added Kovalainen.

In other driver news, Williams refused to comment on speculation about its 2011 lineup, following reports that Pastor Maldonado is a candidate to join the team next year if Nico Hulkenberg does not accept the offer of a five-year contract.

"We have no comment to make concerning our driver line up for 2011 at this juncture," said a spokeswoman.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Flavio Briatore , Heikki Kovalainen , Pastor Maldonado , Nico Hulkenberg
Teams McLaren , Williams , Minardi