Discussions involving both Lotus and Caterham finally reached agreement on Wednesday, allowing the former McLaren driver to stand in for the Ferrari-bound Finn.
Securing Caterham’s blessing for the deal, because Kovalainen is still under contract until the end of the season, was an important element.
Kovalainen has already visited Lotus’ Enstone headquarters to finalise his preparations for a return to racing action for the first time since 2012.
Kovalainen’s deal came after efforts to recruit Germans Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber and former champion Michael Schumacher, now in retirement, came to nothing.
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