McLaren confirm Heikki Kovalainen for 2008

Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 2007 | Action Images / Renault F1 TeamHeikki Kovalainen will be confirmed as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate at McLaren for 2008 according to today’s Times.

Kovalainen has lost his seat at Renault who announced Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jnr as its drivers for the 2008 season. The Finn is set to follow the footsteps of Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen in joining McLaren, having previously indicated he did not want to stay at Renault if it meant being number two to Alonso.

Other drivers previously believed to be in line for the role included Nico Rosberg (who has now signed a deal with Williams until 2009), Pedro de la Rosa (whose claim to the drive may have been weakened by McLaren’s loss of a Spanish sponsor) and Adrian Sutil.

Update: McLaren have now confirmed Kovalainen for 2008.

Martin Whitmarsh said: “As always we want to make sure that we have the most competitive driver line-up and I think that Lewis and Heikki will be a formidable combination.”

Photo: Action Images / Renault F1 Team

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24 comments on McLaren confirm Heikki Kovalainen for 2008

  1. It seems we will have a great F1 season next year: three team have chance of winning races and fighting for the final win (Ferrari, McLaren and Renault), with BMW that could take points (and hopefully some win) to let their work even more difficult.

  2. Vertigo said on 15th December 2007, 16:27

    Don’t forget Honda as well, they will be a lot stronger with Brawn on board.

  3. Number 38 said on 15th December 2007, 19:30

    Milos remarked: The only thing I am a bit concerned is that now McLaren has 2 young drivers and that driver input and car set may be affected by this.

    I’m under the impression that was one of Alonso’s complaints with McLaren he wanted his own set-ups and Ron wouldn’t allow it, one of Alonso’s last quoyes at Brazil was, “I just drove what they gave me”.

    AmericanTifosi Says: All Lewis and Heikki will do is take points off each other.
    Does McLaren care….they will get ALL the points!!!!

    This could set up an interesting season where MULTIPLE cars and drivers win and we gould end up with a DRIVER champion from one make but a CONSTRUCTOR champion from another make. an example Hamilton 100, Kova 97, Massa 104, Kimi 92, Alonso 105, Piquet 30 Heidfeld 106, Kubica 88. Even though Hammy and Kova were outstanding Heidfeld is DRIVER champ and McLaren are CONSTRUCTOR champs. Weird but possible.

  4. Vertigo said on 16th December 2007, 9:57

    I think more people should refer to Lewis Hamilton as “Hammy”.

  5. oliver said on 16th December 2007, 10:14

    At least Heikki gets to take off that clowns outfit.

    If Mclaren was interested in a “number 2″ driver, they would simply have promoted Pedro to the race sit. Signing on Heikki indicates to me, that they want driver s who can push each other. Don’t forget, if Heikki wanted to play a supporting role, he would still be driving for Renault and partner to Alonso.

  6. Number 38 said on 16th December 2007, 13:12

    Believe all of us Oliver, all McLaren has to offer is a #2 supporting role!!!!!!!! Heikki took it as he had NO seat for 2008.

  7. oliver said on 17th December 2007, 9:10

    Remember Kimi? We dont know when exactly he committed to Mclaren, because from midway through the season as speculation was on, that Alonso was returning to Renault, Heikki always said he was confident he would race, typical Finnish laid back assurance.

    Hamilton is not going to be cuddled in that team, he will be given tough competition, Heikki with his experience will get to grips with the car quickly and give Lewis serious competition. Yes Lewis may get more hugs cause he is still like a tot, but the Finns are not known for hugging much, at least when they are race drivers.

  8. I think that it through accident/fortune has given mcclaren two good young compeitive drivers – yes they may lack some of the alleged feedback capabilities that a former driver alleged he gave to the team?? – but hopefully more fun and less petulance as well as trying hard too win

  9. diapam said on 18th December 2007, 3:56

    Number 38 Says:

    Believe all of us Oliver, all McLaren has to offer is a #2 supporting role!!!!!!!! Heikki took it as he had NO seat for 2008

    maby 2nd driver but Kovalainen made allmost contract with Toyota when Ron came agressive after him

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