Nico Hulkenberg rejects end-of-season Lotus drive

Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Sauber F1 walks in the paddock before the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 25, 2013
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Nico Hulkenberg 'turns down' the chance to drive for Lotus in the final two grands prix of the season.

Nico Hulkenberg has rejected the opportunity to drive the final two races of the season with Lotus Renault, according to his manager Werner Heinz.

Kimi Raikkonen, who is returning to Ferrari next season, is to miss the final two races of the season because of back surgery, leaving his seat at Lotus free for the grands prix in the United States and Brazil.

Hulkenberg is said to be in the running to replace the Finn but will stick with Sauber for the end of the season, Heinz told Bild.

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

Former McLaren and Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen is now reportedly in line to drive the final two races for Lotus.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Lotus is interviewed in the paddock by the media during previews to the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at Hungaroring on July 25, 2013
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