Michael Schumacher knocked back an offer to substitute for the injured Kimi Raikkonen

It looks like Heikki Kovalainen might have been at least third on Lotus’ shopping list for suitable replacements for the surgery-destined Kimi Räikkönen.

Michael Schumacher’s management has confirmed that the Enstone team even tried – unsuccessfully – to coax the seven-time World Champion out of retirement.

The 44-year-old headed for permanent retirement at the end of last year following a three-year comeback with Mercedes, which came in the wake of his first retirement at the end of 2006.

“Michael’s performance against Nico (Rosberg last year) and Nico’s performance against Lewis (Hamilton this year) made a lot of people aware of how good Michael still was,” Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, told the German-language Bild newspaper.

“Plus, he is still very fit. But he just feels so good in his new life.”

With negotiations with Sauber’s Nico Hülkenberg having also fallen through – amid not unbelievable rumours that Ferrari blocked the German’s early move to the team – the team is not expected to confirm Kovalainen in the coming hours before the United States Grand Prix this weekend.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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