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Hulkenberg turns down option to finish season at Lotus

ESPN Staff
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Nico Hulkenberg turned down an offer to stand in for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the final two races of the season, according to his manager Werner Heinz.

Raikkonen revealed over the weekend that he will skip the US and Brazilian Grands Prix to undergo surgery on his back, leaving Lotus with a cockpit to fill for the final two races. Hulkenberg is in the running for a 2014 drive at the team but currently racing at Sauber, which may have created contractual issues for a late-season switch.

"We had an offer from Lotus and we have discussed it," Heinz told Bild. "We decided that Nico will drive the last two races with Sauber."

Lotus has yet to announce who will stand in for Raikkonen, with the media day for the US Grand Prix set to get underway on Thursday and first practice on Friday. Reports in Finland say Heikki Kovalainen has secured the drive, while Lotus reserve Davide Valsecchi remains a strong candidate if a more experienced driver cannot be pinned down.

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