Until that point, Kovalainen was managed by Italian manager Flavio Briatore. However, once the 59-year old manager was prohibited from being part of any racing series under the patronage of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) – that decision was later overturned by the Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance – the Finn had to terminate that deal with immediate effect, or else risk his racing superlicense for the F1 championship.
Under the circumstances, Heikki negotiated his switch from McLaren Mercedes to Lotus F1 Team on his own, admitting that he had several contacts before signing the actual deal with the Malaysian backed outfit.
“I asked him (Mike Gascoyne, technical director of Lotus F1) what is the situation with Lotus and told him I would be interested to hear about the project,” said Kovalainen in an interview with Finland's Turun Sanomat, when talking about the way he prepared his racing situation for the season to come.
Additionally, he revealed that both him and Jarno Trulli will be paid for their time at Lotus, therefore the deal did not include sponsors' backing for either of them. And, since everything went very well, he decided to keep himself on top of his own situation for the season to come.
“I decided to do all the negotiations myself. For me it's very important to know exactly what you are signing. I know what to do and it gives me peace of mind,” added the 28-year old driver.