Vettel chasing US title that got away in 2012

“It was definitely not what I was expecting and also not what McLaren was expecting, especially as when I signed for them they had such a competitive car and it’s not what we have right now,” Perez said.

McLaren will promote 21-year-old Danish driver Kevin Magnussen for the 2014 season. He’ll be the first rookie driver for McLaren since Hamilton in 2007.

And Hamilton’s season hasn’t been what he wanted after his move to Mercedes. The former world champion won four times last season but has just one win this year, in Hungary, and is a distant fourth in the driver’s championship standings.

“I’ve not really thought about the driver’s championship for a long, long time,” Hamilton said. “Unless you’re first, the rest of it doesn’t really appeal to me so much.”

Also on Thursday, Lotus announced that Formula One veteran Heikki Kovalainen will drive the last two races of the season in place of injured Kimi Raikkonen, who is out because of back surgery.

Raikkonen, who is leaving Lotus for Ferrari in 2014, currently sits in third in the driver’s championship standings. Kovalainen has started 109 Grand Prix in previous stints with Renault, McLaren, and Caterham. He finished 18th for Caterham at the U.S. Grand Prix last year but hasn’t raced in Formula One this season.

Team principle Eric Boullier said Lotus chose the veteran Kovalainen over reserve Davide Valsecchi in part because the team is still fighting for a better position in the constructor’s championship, where it currently sits in fourth. Kovalainen has 109 career starts in Formula One with four podium finishes.

“I will be pushing hard for the best results possible,” Kovalainen said. “Jumping into a car so late in the year when you have not been competing in the races all season will be a challenge.”

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