Heikki Kovalainen says he won't allow speculation over his Formula 1 future to distract him this year despite being a potential target for several rival teams.
The Caterham driver has impressed during his two and a half seasons at Caterham after struggling during his two years at McLaren, and is known to have attracted tentative interest from teams such as Ferrari and Sauber. But the Finn played down any imminent deal to move away from the team and believes that his performances behind the wheel will do the talking when it comes to securing a deal for next year.
"What I'm focusing on is that I keep my performances as high as possible and aim to take the maximum from the car and the team," said Kovalainen. "That would put me in the best position in case Caterham has other plans for the future. I'll try to show everyone, including my team, that I have what it takes to get the job done."
Despite not scoring a point since the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix – a run of 50 starts – Kovalainen is confident that he can still impress the right people.
"We haven't seriously talked to anyone, so I don't know what they think," he said when asked how easy it was to impress team bosses in uncompetitive machinery. "But the team bosses ranked me ninth in their top 10 list (when polled on the subject by AUTOSPORT at the end of last year), which was very good and shows that they are paying attention."
Kovalainen confirmed that he had not yet had any formal talks with Caterham about next year, but he admitted that such discussions would have to start soon, especially as he needs to be convinced that the team will be able to fight for better positions in races.
"Next year, I want to be fighting for better positions and I want to be as high up the grid as possible," he said. "But I haven't really talked to Caterham about what the plans are. At some point we will sit down and see what the plans are, how things are looking and what their interest level is. They may have other [driver] plans, I don't know.
"Overall, I have been happy about the time that I've had here. One of the reasons why I'm regularly getting the best out of myself and the car is because I have a good relationship with the team and I am working better. What happens in the future, I don't know."