Formula 1 US Grand Prix: Why Heikki Kovalainen Can Succeed at Lotus

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Formula 1 US Grand Prix: Why Heikki Kovalainen Can Succeed at Lotus
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

In Sunday's United States Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen will line up on the grid for the first time this season.

He was parachuted into the seat at Lotus as a last-minute replacement for compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who elected to have back surgery and will miss the final two races. The Finn will partner Romain Grosjean for the U.S. and Brazilian races.

Kovalainen has had zero track time in the Lotus and the first time he'll turn a wheel will be in first practice.

It can be tough to get up to speed quickly in a new car, so expectations aren't high. However, it would be wrong to write Heikki off alreadyhis brief outing could well prove to be a success.

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