Heikki Kovalainen’s F1 career in video

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Kovalainen scored his maiden Grand Prix win at the Hungaring last year
Kovalainen scored his maiden Grand Prix win at the Hungaring last year

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer looks back on the career of McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen – including that famous victory over Michael Schumacher.

As we approach the end of the season, there are doubts over the future of Heikki Kovalainen. It was just two years ago when he scored his first podium here with arguably his best drive to date. And he has a Japanese fan club too! In fact, they’ll be helping us look back at the career of Kovalainen.

2003 – After many promising seasons in the lower formulae (most notably second in Macau in 2002), Kovalainen moved to the World Series by Nissan. He took one win in that inaugural season (at the Eurospeedway) to finish second overall, but it was his teammate Franck Montagny who won the title. Here’s some amateur footage of Heikki’s winning weekend.

2004 – The first time Kovalainen’s name hit the mainstream was during the 2004 Race of Champions. And in the ultimate breakout moment, he beat Michael Schumacher! Not only that, but he also went on to beat Sebastien Loeb and be crowned that year’s “Champion of Champions”. Many thought the up-and-coming Finn was someone to look out for.

2005 – After winning the WSN title at his second attempt, Kovalainen decided to join the inaugural season of GP2. He was locked in a season-long duel with Nico Rosberg for the championship. He had some magnificent drives (like this winning drive in Turkey from seventh on the grid), and came to the last round only a point behind. But a terrible weekend in Bahrain handed the title to Rosberg.

2006 – Kovalainen took a year off from racing to be Renault’s third driver. But he wasn’t completely idle, testing the car and driving it at PR events. One of them was in 2007, when he drove the R26 on the Top Gear Test Track – and blew everyone’s minds.

2007 – He was soon promoted to a race seat, replacing the departing Fernando Alonso. His rookie season was a tale of two halves. The first half was very challenging, with Heikki barely able to score. But after a drive from last to fourth in Canada turned his season around. By Japan, he found himself second, having to defend from a charging Kimi Raikkonen. Heikki’s nerve held, and he stayed ahead to the flag.

Heikki soon found himself going up against Michael Schumacher again in the Race of Champions, this time as part of the Nations Cup. And once again, Heikki beat him! Murray Walker is on commentary.

2008 – Heikki then moved to McLaren for his second season, again replacing the departing Fernando Alonso (as an indirect consequence of Spygate the previous year). If Alonso got pipped by Hamilton, Heikki would find it tougher. Here he is chasing down the Rebault of Alonso in Australia.

Kovalainen’s low point that year was the horrific crash he suffered in Spain, after a mechanical failure. He was lucky not to be injured.

He has the curious distinction of being the 100th Grand Prix winner when he took his debut win in Hungary. It may seem a bit of a fluke (after Hamilton then Massa fell out of contention), but Kovalainen stayed out of trouble and was there to pick up the pieces. In the words of Ron Dennis, “welcome to the world of winning.”

2009 – Year two with McLaren has been very difficult. After starting with a difficult car, McLaren managed to improve it over the course of the season, and Hamilton has taken full advantage to win two races so far this year and contend for two others. But Heikki has yet to step on the podium this season. His qualifying lap at Monza to put a heavy car fourth has arguably been the highlight of his season so far. Unfortunately, an awful first lap quickly dropped him out of contention.

So what does the future hold for Kovalainen? Perhaps this video gives us part of the answer:

Many say that Kovalainen and McLaren just hasn’t been a good fit, and that Kovalainen is quicker than he currently seems. If Heikki wants to prove that right, he’ll probably need to do it with another team in another car.

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  • 106 comments on “Heikki Kovalainen’s F1 career in video”

    1. Perhaps with Heikki’s popularity in Japan, he might be a good fit at Toyota if they carry on in the sport…

    2. Now we know at least the true identity of The Stig @ one event…..the powerlap with the Renault F1 R26 on the Top Gear Test Track :-) Nice…..

    3. First thing that came to mind when I saw this article was that Keith is getting this career review in because we may never see heikki in F1 again after McLaren get rid of him. :(

    4. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Kovalainen has been confirmed at McLaren until 2012.

      1. That sounds unlikely but cool if its true :)

    5. I like Heikki, hope he stays in F1 though maybe he doesn’t yet deserve a place with a top team

    6. Wrong!

      The top gear drive was done on a R24! And it was in 2004.

      And i guess nobody really knows if it really was Heikki.

      It could well have been Montagny!

      1. Thanks for the correction on TG, Fer.

        Can you correct it, Keith? :)

      2. no it wasnt, im sure its the R25!

        im going to watch the top gear dvd to make sure

    7. Bad news for Kimi fans :( He’s likely going to red bull & kovi is staying put.

      1. Thanks mp4, I’m actually really annoyed about that even though I am a Ferrari fan next year was going to be epic with ham-kimi mclaren and alo-mas ferrari!

      2. Where is this reported mp4-19b?

      3. what? Kimi is going to RedBull?

      4. Echo Chris, where are you getting these reports from? if its true mclaren have made a poor choice, i like him as a person, but Mclaren do not have a chance of winning the WCC with Hekki at the wheel

        1. Its still unconfirmed though. Martin Whitmarsh likes kovi a lot. In fact he adores him. Earlier this year Norbert Haugh had a big confrontation with Whitmarsh regarding Kovi’s contract. Martin’s supported Kovi very vocally. Haug wanted Nico for 09 itself, but Whitmarsh disagreed. This is also one of the reasons for the souring of relationship between mclaren & benz. But I can tell you that Kovi is almost a certainty for next year.

          1. Martin Whitmarsh – With Ron and Martin sharing the duties. It was always Martin that played good cop and Ron playing the favorites. About his liking Kovi, I think he is just playing fair to the Finn, I remember McLaren race debriefs from last year , when Ron used to cover 3-4 paragraphs on Lewis’s race weekend and then Martin doing his regular 3-4 lines stuff “Fuel corrected Kovi was faster than lewis in qualifiers, the strategy/tyre choice/traffic…… meant Kovi couldn’t display true race pace and his race got compromised” and similar statements defending Kovy.

      5. Why would that be bad news for Kimi fans?
        Even if it were true, the RedBull is the best car on the grid, and with Merc engines next year I’d expect it still to be up there. And if McLaren lose those engines I’d expect them to have a year in the doldrums. Not that any of it matters as I don’t think Kimi’s going to Red Bull.

      6. Red Bull are running 3 drivers next year then? Webber and Vettel have contracts already

        1. similarly Ferrari had two contracted drivers for 2010, look how that turned out

          1. I see your point, but dropping a Raikkonen for Fernando Alonso is one thing and dropping Mark Webber for Heikki Kovalainen is another thing entirely. I’d be surprised if it’s true, but this is F1 and anything can happen!

            1. They rnt dropping Webber for Heikki, they are dropping Webber for Kimi and thats something. Ofcourse KImi is better than Webber

    8. I saw similar reports, I was a bit more sceptical about the Kimi argument and believed the Grosjean rumours but now maybe it is true. Big, big shame if it is.

      1. I bet my a$$!! Mclaren will never win the constructors as long as they employ Kovi! He’s not even a good number 2 driver. Flavio was right about him.

        1. It’s sad, but I agree.

    9. He has trouble getting up to speed in the 1st stints of the races. Once that phase is over, his times are much closer to Hamilton’s.

      Shame he is likely to stay in Mclaren though. He is not that bad once he sorts the 1st stints of races, but I would like to see Raikonenn against Hamilton in Mclaren.

      1. Trouble is that next year, with no refuelling, the whole race will be one big first stint. :D

        1. :D :D :D Kovi’s in deep trouble!!!

    10. I posted some reports in driver line up prediction forum but just spectualtion, and Kimi stuff I wasn’t sure about esp not RBR but if there are more reports I’m beginning to be more convinced. If Kimi does not go to mclaren they will not win constructors, I wonder how much it would have to do with Hamilton camp too. Still is speculation but we should know at end of season.

    11. Mp4 is right.. unconfirmed reports and the fact that Kimi Raikonnen’s manager, mentioned on Finnish TV that teams will not make decision till end of season, gives a good indication of direction in which McLaren is heading. If they wanted Kimi, McLaren would have snapped the Finn the moment Alonso’s Ferrari announcement was made.

      BTW can any one guess who are the biggest champions of Heikki’s McLaren contract being renewed? Its the Hamiltons the father-son are keen not to have Raikonnen back in McLaren :D. Pretty much tells about their insecurity for Competition within the team doesn’t it?

      My suspicion is that Heikki being last of the drivers who had proper season as “Test driver” when there were no testing bans also has something to with Hamiltons/McLaren wanting Heikki in the second car. Now that De la Rossa is surely not going to be with Woking squad next year, and Kimi’s ‘Inability’ of working with Engineers is ‘Well circulated’ around the paddock, McLaren doesn’t want to take chance of two fast but technically dud drivers in their stable.

      So it will be Heikki setting up the cars and used as guinea pig on strategy and Lewis going for glory in McLaren then…

      1. Yes. If its true, them Antony & Lewis Hamilton are a pair of sheep’s!! Cowards!

        1. Yes if I am right didn’t Prost do something similar at Williams and at first block Mansell and Senna? Didn’t Senna call him a coward? I prefer to wait until the facts come out if ever but if this is the case I’m very disappointed.

          1. Prost blocked Senna at Williams for 1993, but Mansell effectively blocked himself. Having just sealed the ’92 world title, Nigel demanded a significantly higher salary which Williams declined to pay. With no competitive F1 drive on offer, Mansell headed to the USA.

            There was a specific clause in Prost’s contract which excluded the team from signing Senna, even though the latter had offered to drive for free. The rivalry between the two was still fairly bitter by this point. Ayrton was not particularly happy with this and accused Prost of unsporting conduct.

        2. You’re assuming that Hamilton, who is on his intro contract has any say in the matter. That would be stretching it, and frankly insane. There is NO way that McLaren would let a first time driver get that kind of leverage on their intro contract.

          1. Problem is I fear that McLaren are slowly turning into the Ferrari of the M.Schumacher era. They have a world champion & want a good back up second driver. They are wanting kovi to turn into some kind of R.Barichello. I as a McLaren fan wouldn’t want that to happen, even if it means losing WDC & WCC. I’vealways known mclaren as the team who don’t fear to pit 2 world class drivers against each other. No other F1 teams (maybe Williams) would dare to even think like that.

          2. Isn’t Hamilton on his second F1 contract? I think he signed an improved contract after his first season.

            But even if Hamilton isn’t on his first contract I very much doubt McLaren would have let a clause be put in the contract that let Hamilton a veto who was in the other car.

      2. Re: Kimi’s inability to of working with Engineers”

        That comment does contrast severely with earlier comments on Fanatic that Kimi @ Macca was very well respected for his input into the car.

        Got a source?

        1. Got a source?

          As I have mentioned in my post “Well Circulated”. Which means perception, and who has created that Well Kimi’s ex-bosses. The Source – statement of Ron Dennis after Kimi left McLaren in 2006 and now Luca D Monte___’s latest press release about Kimi holding things inside etc…

          1. That sounds more like an excuse than a reason…that Ron or Luca say’s so doesn’t really make it true. Does it?

            1. that Ron or Luca say’s so doesn’t really make it true. Does it?

              My Friend the two names in questions have never said anything that is true, so I completely agree with you. But then they have their strong likes and dislikes and additionally power of leading marquee names teams in F1, so they are Gods in their own Universe.

        2. per·cep·tion
          Pronunciation: \pər-‘sep-shən\ – a mental image
          Unfortunately/Fortunately made or wrecked many a careers in F1 (as in other walks of life). An average driver doing well in cleverly designed car has survived years of lacklustre performance due to “Perception” of his “Smooth driving style.

          When Driver A Bins the car in promising position on last lap he is trying 110% and thats the sign of a racer.
          When Driver B (lack of PR) does that he ends up being jeered by the same pandits..
          Thats perception for you.

          Whether Kimi is good technically or not, whether Lewis is good with Car setup or he depends upon his team-mates experience.. we the outsiders will never know and will have to be objective in our evaluations of Lewis,Kimi, Alonso, Heikki or for that matter any driver, and refrain from making superficial comments just because a martin brundle or a james allen makes it. They are journalist (in Martin’s case driver management firm) have conflict of interests

          1. Touche Bailly!

      3. Kimi Raikkonen’s manager has revealed he is seeking a signature on a 2010 contract for the Finn by the time F1 disbands for the season in Abu Dhabi early next month. The 30-year-old last week ended his contract for next season with Maranello based Ferrari, warning at Suzuka that if he cannot find another top drive for 2010, he will either stay or home or go rallying.Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson told the Finnish daily Turun Sanomat that he is currently in talks with multiple potential F1 teams — and one or two that do not seem to be on the hunt for a new driver.”Hopefully within the next 2 or 3 weeks we will have done something,” said the Briton.Previously, Robertson had admitted the possibility of a return for Raikkonen to McLaren.
        He adds: “Top teams want to decide upon their drivers before the season ends in Abu Dhabi in November.

        If Martin Whitmarsh wanted to get rid of Heikki and latch on to Kimi they wouldn’t wait till Abu Dhabi. From outsiders Perception Heikki Sucks, so what is it stopping McLaren from dropping him for their Former favorite Blue-eyed boy:-?

        1. Thanks for the link Aguri. Well your comment certainly echoes the truth in what mp4 suggested and I would agree with Kovi beigh at macca if F1 contracts were run by logic! hahaha

          Maybe we’ll know the truth in a few days?

          1. Alex you make an interesting point about Mansell, which sounds very true but intriguingly that’s not how Mansell saw himself. In Christopher Hilton’s biography he makes a comparison of himself with Keke Rosberg explaining how he was strong on developing a car and communicating with engineers whereas Rosberg would just take the car he was given and “drive the wheels off it.”

            Who’s to know the truth? Although I did laugh a couple of years ago when DC rubbished Peter Windsor’s endless dissections of different driving styles and their repercussions on set-ups, saying (roughly) he’d never experienced any of the thing’s discussed, and he’d driven the cars.

            The truth will always be hard to pin down and will never be an absolute, only a shade of grey. Kovi didn’t become a bad driver overnight any more than Fisi has. They may not be potential champions but the ability Kovi showed prior to F1 and in the latter half of his time at Renault was significant. Maybe the issue is the car/style conflict, maybe it’s pressure, maybe he’s another Trulli and blows hot and cold. But McLaren could always do worse, they could take up Eddie Jordan’s suggestion for a new team, and hire Ralf Schumacher… :D

            1. Whoops, replied to the wrong bit of the thread… I’ll get me coat

        2. I have no particular sources. The fact that mclaren have chosen to wait until the end of the season makes me skeptical. Again, I really don’t know how mclaren would justify their retaining of Kovi? he isn’t exactly race winning material. I came to that conclusion long ago, back at monza last year. Remember where he qualified? He was second, in that superior mclaren, yet he finished 15 odd seconds behind vettel. Its was a race he should have won. but insteat he chose to complain about spray, tire graining etc.

          this is what Kovi had to say on his suzuka race:

          “I’m absolutely on the limit of my car and we’re still lacking grip in the high-speed corners, so it’s not possible for me to attack any harder. I pushed from the start to the finish”

          Is this the maximum he can go? How is it that hamilton managed to finish up on the podium & Kovi well out of the points, loitering in 11th? That Mclaren, in the hands of any other driver would have surely made it into the points. Hamilton & Kovi were driving identical cars. Even if Lewis is god, reincarnation of Senna & everything, Kovi shouldn’t be so far off the pace.

          Most importantly if it is Hamilton who’s vetoing against kimi, he’s a coward. If he really thinks he’s the British Senna, he shouldn’t have any problem tackling Kimi. I think Hamilton well on course to become another Schumacher. In the process he’ll end up losing supporters like me.

          1. Agreed, I remember Shui winning a WDC in basically a Ford V8 against v12’s and v10’s. I can’t see Ham doing that? Look how Kimi won the WDC for Ferrari? Storybook stuff!

            Ham isn’t Senna or Shumi, he’s just Lewis, but Alonso is the Devil!

            Cheers

          2. Kovi’s comment followed his earlier explanation that the car was totally unsuited to his driving style, this gets glossed over again and again whenever ‘equal cars’ are discussed. The McLaren will be styled to suit Hamilton, just as whoever partnered Michael had to put up with cars designed around him. (That particularly hurt Johnny Herbert, whose preferred set-up couldn’t have been more different.)

            Whatever one think’s about Kovi’s ability – and I don’t particularly rate him – you’ve misunderstood what he’s said and are sensationalising his failings.

            1. I understand what you’re saying Daffid, but then we go back to the No.1 driving issue. So then who is the car built around? A Lewis or an Alonso, A Shumi or a Irvine or a Massa and a Alonso? And that brings us back to the “Teams claiming equal equipment” or “both drivers are equal”?

              Will RB design it’s next car around Webber? I think not.

              I never thought Herbert was top shelf, Shumi was beating Piquet Sr. in a car that whas designed around…certainly not Alessandro Nannini, or do I have my years mixed up? But then again look at Prost and Senna at Macca?

              I remember a comment about Mansel and Patrisse from a Williams engineer re: their driving styles in the traction control cars. Mansel just puts his foot down and ignores the fact that he can’t feel the road, and Ricardo….well.

              If anyone has that quote can they post it?

          3. Hamilton who’s vetoing against kimi, he’s a coward…. Antony & Lewis Hamilton are a pair of sheep’s!! Cowards!

            I beg to differ.

            Heikki is a good (not best) no.2 driver in my opinion. He is not fast enough to match Lewis, which makes it easier for the team to give the better strategy to the quicker driver. It avoids late season controversy.

            Look at all the championships from 1994, they have been won by drivers having undisputed no.1 status in the team. Even Kimi had that advantage going into the last 2 races of 2007.

            Lewis and Anthony are being wise and practical, not cowards

            1. Lewis and Anthony are being wise and practical, not cowards

              Agreed to that, fans may get emotional and sentimental about favorite teams, favorite drivers etc; but Drivers need to take a pragmatic approach about their F1 career. Just commiting to to sly fox like Ron Dennis ” I want to drive for your team because my childhood hero drove for you” is not the right approach. Alonso forgot to dot all the I and cross all the Ts in his secret marriage to McLaren and the result is well know, Ron two timed him for prettier girl that came along the way. :D

            2. Heikki is a good (not best) no.2 driver in my opinion

              Of course he’s good!! He’s good according to you, because he always fails to take points off Ferrari :) But if McLaren are serious about winning the constructors championship next year they have to replace Kovi.

    12. mp4…I agree if indeed Kimi is not going to Macca because of Lewis wanting to be the No.1 and the same can be said for Mercedes and Haug if other comments are accurate.

      1. It is again interesting again when a driver can cay to his employer “That the WDC is more important than the WCC.”

        Schumacher delivered both…..can Lewis?

    13. Kub to Renault official. More to follow?

      1. Has to be Steph….but when?

          1. Thanks for the link

    14. Think they’ll start rolling pretty soon, maybe will linger abit longer, maybe few weeks after season finale. I’m on websites now checking see if there is even a whisper.:)

      1. Same here!

    15. No surprise but good to see things are beginning to move, and if everyone is beginning to take their seats might hurry some drvers up

    16. Thing is I can see RBR wanting Kimi but not vice versa

      1. Which RBR…I can’t see Kimi going to….ummmm

    17. I have this strong feeling that Kimi will take a year’s sabbatical from F1.Just like what Prost did in 92, maybe comeback with a signed contract for 2011, just like Prost, win a WDC or two & sign off in style. I really hope he wins at least one title for McLaren. they really owe him one.

      1. strangely I do have the same feel! I don’t think he would like see himself in a team that is not a match for his drive.

        Already both McLaren and Ferrari had failed him, though not always but often they failed to produce the car the meet his style. I don’t know how Kimi feels now, to work in a team that no longer works on the car he drives, but for the next year’s car which he won’t drive.

        1. Very good logic Mani!

        2. But you never know with these Finns. Hakkinen promised to do the same in 2002, but chose to retire permanently. In Mika’s case, it was fear. Hugo, his son was born during the winter of 2000. It was this crash in aussie gp 01 that scared him. It was also the same race in which a track Marshall was killed. But I doubt Raikkonen fears for his life, its just that chickens like Alonso & Hamilton fear getting beaten by Kimi given the same equipment.

      2. Kimi wants a winning car no doubt about it, and when will rallying fit into his plans? If it is in his plans? If Heikki isn’t going now from Mclaren then when will he? When will a seat open for Kimi? This is a headache lol

      3. I have this strong feeling that Kimi will take a year’s sabbatical from F1.Just like what Prost did in 92,

        Kimi taking sabbatical and returning would be more of Jacques Villenueue story than an Alain Prost.

        The Modern F1 drivers need a lots of off-season discipline, which unfortunately is not one of Kimi’s Strong point…

        Ferrari did cut Kimi a lots of slack on fitness front unlike, McLaren and you can clearly see those additional pounds on the Finn. Kimi after Hiatus would be a big mistake for Kimi

        1. I have a strong feeling Kimi will not get a contract by this year end. Purely cuz his future team-mates fear his talent. He says he admires James Hunt & he does remind me of James Hunt. Even James Hunt quit early. But James Hunt got himself a decent job as a commentator. He performed really well with Hurray Walker. but who will give Kimi a job as a commentator? His mumble is very difficult to understand. BBC perhaps? Wouldn’t that be nice? Kimi & Legard commentating in English for the BBC?
          Mind you! Even Prost did some commentating for some French channel in 1992. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if this happens.

          1. I was referring to outcome of return from Hiatus – Alain Prost returned and won another championship.

            Given Kimi’s ‘Off track’ interests and amount of money he is loaded due to ‘Pay Out’ One year out of F1 is game over for the Finn, there will be no “Successful” come-back

            1. Yes. I agree with you Aguri. Modern day F1 comebacks are extremely difficult. Especially for characters like Kimi, who have odd habits like lap dancing, falling of boats & stuff. I sincerely hope that he gets a contract with McLaren for next year. Or else I fear that Abu Dubhai might be the last time ever we see him in a F1 car :( :(

          2. Does he need to get a job for next year? Ferrari paid him loads, and is going to pay him for 2010 also. In 70s drivers were making a lot less.

            1. In 70s drivers were making a lot less.

              How I wish this was still 70’s (with current level of safety in F1) where drivers drove to races, drove in races and drove off from races. there was no entourage of “Bouncing” Girl friend, manager, father, mother, personal trainer, physio, hypnotherapist, brother…… to take care of and who expenses to be paid for.

              How I wish it was still 70’s(with current level of safety in F1) where teams participated for racing and not making sponsors, team management, racing series rights holder, that old pervert in Dungeon them party controlling the fates of everyone associated in F1 while himself being controlled by and whipped by ladies of questionable background…

    18. The Kimi move to sugar-water, logically would put Webber in the McLaren—I know about the unconfirmed confirmation of Kofailainen. It seems Webber, a modestly talented journeyman, is what McLaren like in the second car. Why else did they hang onto Coulthard for so long?

      1. But DMW….Whitmarsh has stated that all things are equal at Macca!

      2. Webber stuffed his chances of going into a McLaren a few years ago by saying (quite accurately!) that they frequently produce a great car one season then a dog the next!:D

    19. Kimi going to to Red Bull would put Webber out of a job surely? I don’t think Red Bull would be silly enough to let the promising Vettel.

      If Webber is out of a job, and Kovi and Lewis have the McLaren drives for next year, where does he go? Can’t be Ferrari, Can’t be McLaren. Renault like the look of Grosjean for some strange reason, and now Kubica has that other seat. BMW aren’t confirmed for next year yet but Heidfeld would be quids in for one of those seats surely. Brawn will probably have Jenson and Rosberg. If I’ve worked this out right he will have to go to Williams, Toyota (if they are still in F1 next year), Force India, Toro Rosso or one of the newbies.

      I quite like Webber an I think that it would be desperately bad luck if he looses his seat at RBR. He is a solid, quick driver and he is the only driver currently in F1 who swears and vomits regularly on live TV.

      1. “I don’t think Red Bull would be silly enough to let the promising Vettel.”

        Should read:

        “I don’t think Red Bull would be silly enough to let the promising Vettel go.”

        1. Rumbling about Grosjean at Renault and possibly Heidfeld there, but think that is literally just rumblings and Nick seems like he’d commit to BMW

          1. Sorry I typed a bit to hasitly ..rumblings bout Grosjean at Renault and that Heidfeld cold replace him.

            Piquet’s looking for a drive too ;)

            1. Piquet’s looking for a drive too ;)

              Really? Would he mind to take up a job as a driver for my boss? I would be grateful if Piquet could finish him off for me :) Piquet jr is a pro you know, I’m sure he’ll get the job done. I’m fed up of minimizing this F1 Fanatic window everytime the old hag passes by.

            2. I saw the reports about PK trying to get back into F1. The only way that will happen is with one of the 2010 newbies, I don’t see him going to an “established team” after crashgate.

    20. Interesting to see this discussion is really about Kimi, not Kova. One reason for that is that Kimi has a whole lot more fans than Kova. Another is that who really loves F1, follow the news about it, understands the nature of a genuine outsdanding driver as Kimi is, and not having a confirmation of contract for him is absurd, to say the least…

      1. And I was under the impression that this concept of “VETO” ended with M.Schumacher, sadly I’m mistaken.

    21. Looks like Bruno Senna is confident of getting a seat next year. It will be awesome to have “Senna” back on the time sheets!

      http://www.f1technical.net/news/13528?sid=237796d2231a9b20c2f0b5596fff380f

      1. Lets all hope that he doesn’t turn out to be another Piquet.

    22. Lol what dedication Mp4! Piq is still meant to be in talks with new teams, Trulli has just tested at nascar, heidfeld could stay with BMW who may not make it on the grid, Kimi could end up nowhere, Kovy could still end up nowhere, still don’t really know about Massa but at least it looks positive, Nakajima won’t have a team, quite a few changes then.

      1. PK is testing a NASCAR truck sometime this week too. I couldn’t think of anything I’d like to race less than a NASCAR truck.

        left, left, left. left, repeat 200 times, the end.

    23. As far as i read the thing is money, not Hamilton family. Mclaren dose not want to pay 25 mil. for 2010 alone.

    24. Yer but reports Hamiltons did not even want Rosberg, though again I know all specualtion. Good point though about money, would Kimi take a pay cut? For a good car maybe

      1. I think Hamilton should just shut up & drive. He shouldn’t be bothering too much bout his team mate. He says he gets on well with Kovi & wants him to be his team mate next year too. I see no reason why Lewis shouldn’t get on well with Kimi, he is also a Finn. Problems would arise from the Lewis camp, cuz they’ll fear getting beaten. And that is not the sign of a true world champion who idolizes Ayrton Senna.

        If Hamilton manages to secure at least one title with Kimi as his team mate, that would etch Hamilton’s name as one of the greatest forever.

      2. Do you remember that Senna said that he would drive for Williams “for free”?

    25. An article about Kovalainen’s career has turned into a discussion about the driver line ups for 2010 with plenty of internet rumours included.

      On the subject of Kovalainen, if he could secure a drive at another decent team I wouldn’t be surprised if he chose to leave McLaren, as for whatever reason it just doesn’t seem to be working for him there.

      McLaren may decide to offer him a contract but I would be surprised if it was for more than one year and probably depends on who else is available for the seat.

      On the BBC post race F1 forum at the weekend Eddie Jordan said his sources told him that Kubica would be confirmed at Renault on Tuesday and if Kubica had enough influence at the team Kovalainen would join him. He was one day out on his Kubica prediction so I wonder how reliable the other part will turn out to be.

      Personally I think Kovalainen will be in F1 next season but probably not at McLaren.

      1. If that happens,then for the THIRD TIME IN A ROW, Kovalainen will replace Fernando Alonso.. curious indeed

        Has such a thing ever happened before?

        I think such a high number of driver changes which are happening now was never the case with F1, may be in late 80s-early 90s hard to spot any other volatile period like this one.

    26. Thanks Journeyer. Kovy’s win against Schumacher in the second Race of Champions was hilarious.

      (I almost feel like apologizing for being off-topic here!)

    27. I’d almost forgot about that, yes Hakka was great! Still think Kovy has potential I am a fan of his but I think he needs time.

    28. I personally think that Heikki has what it takes (you dont just beat Big Schumi by chance twice in a row do you?)… Maybe some outside factors influence his performance more than others… Benefit of doubt to Heikki. Although I would love to see Kimi back in a Mclaren next year :)

    29. Lewis & Heikki giving drum performance at Stars & Cars

      link here

      :)

    30. I would be surprised if Raikkonen moves to Red Bull! It would be nice though. So far Sebastian Vettel only had to deal with team mates less than him (Bourdais, great in Champ car and superleague formula, but terrible in F1! Now Webber, experienced and excellent driver but not as good as Kimi). Kimi on his day is, as I said before, probably the fastest driver out there. Btw on Kimi’s input: M. Schumacher himself said that Kimi needed to speak up. (source is Dutch commentator Olav Mol) They “improved” the ferrari last year and Kimi wasn’t happy with that. After he spoke up they undid the changes and what do you know? He was as quick as before.

      However I don’t really see how Kimi would fit into a young dynamic free speaking enthusiastic team like RBR other than the fact that he’s very fast. But as a fan of good racing I’d love to see Kimi go toe to toe with either Hamilton or Vettel, just as I love to see Alonso vs Massa.

      As for Kovalainen. Well I remember him being very consistent in his first year with renault. He didn’t crash very often but he does seem to lack a lot of speed. I won’t blame Heikki for the beginning of this year: the McClaren was simply a horrible car to drive and if not even Hamilton can get anywhere near the top 10, you can’t blame anyone. However, the last 5 or 6 races Hamilton has been winning 2, scoring an excellent 3rd place last week and doing well. Where was Heikki? He didn’t score many points. Lewis brough a little more than 2/3 of the McClaren points to the table. It might be that Heikki and McClaren isn’t a good match but then he should leave and find himself another team. I do see him as an excellent second driver, he doesn’t make many mistakes but he just doesn’t seem to be that fast and that is what you need to be!

    31. What proof do you have that was Heikki on Top Gear in the R24?

    32. Hope He finds a race sit next season.

    33. I have made no secret in the past eighteen months of my disappointment at the lack of progress Kovalainen has made at McLaren.
      Maybe after witnessing the furore and pure excitement of Alonso’s season at McLaren, anything else would have always paled in comparison.
      Here, in a nutshell, is why Kovalainen got the job in the first place. For years, McLaren had made bold driver pairings that had failed to deliver. On paper, Raikkonen/Montoya for 2005 had looked an almost unstoppable force. It proved anything but!
      The Alonso/Hamilton fracturous relationship, proved more devastating to McLaren’s ambitions both on and off the track. Infact, its safe to say it cost both drivers the 2007 title in one way or another.
      In Kovalainen, order was restored. McLaren’s main motivation, as widely rumoured since 2007, has been to keep the Hamilton family happy. No one, in my opinion, wanted another Hungary 2007!
      This bears remembering now that Kimi Raikkonen is on the market, and rumours abound about a return to the Woking outfit. The question being, would bringing Raikkonen back into the fold reopen old wounds?
      I am not suggesting that Raikkonen would cause problems, but he may stir up a rift with Lewis Hamilton and his family. What McLaren really needs, after the Ron Dennis era, is stability.
      They avenged their defeat to Ferrari with the 2008 drivers title, but it is the constructors title they surely crave. It must not be lost on the boys at Woking that Mercedes are on the verge of winning their first title in eleven years with Brawn Gp, a team many thought to be backmarkers for 2009. The pressure is really on a team that cannot afford to make the same mistakes they have made in the last four years. It is simply to much of a risk.

    34. I worry about the levels of influence reputedly held by the Hamiltons in McLaren…

      Personally I like Heikki, but it just doesn’t seem to have worked out for him. I’d love to see Kimi back at McLaren and Heikki gets a fresh start somewhere as he has done badly this past 18 months :-(

    35. I think Kovi should leave Macca if he wants an apportunity to show his true speed and craft. If it is true he’s being as competitive as Lewis but using unfavorable race strategies in most of the races then why he’s still wanting to race for Macca?
      When Alonso landed back at Renault in 2008 and started testing using the lastest R26, he said he was surprised the car did not make podiums regularly at the end of the season, he even remarked that that R26 had better grip-balance on the rear than the ill-born R27.
      So, if someone ask me how do I rate Kovi as a F1 driver, I would said; he has to prove he’s a real good driver yet; he relatively failed in Renault, he did not put a fight against Lewis…..he’s still a question mark…..he deserves a new team, a new try, a last one bacause the F1 driver market is getting pretty big, pretty wild, and question marks for sure will leave to give room to new “talent”.

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