Heikki Kovalainen lucks in to maiden win

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Heikki Kovalainen took a surprise maiden win at the Hungaroring
Heikki Kovalainen took a surprise maiden win at the Hungaroring

Heikki Kovalainen became the 100th driver to win a Grand Prix in the Hungarian round of the championship.

The win fell into his lap after a heartbreaking failure for Felipe Massa late in the race. Massa had grabbed the lead by the scruff of the neck with an excellent start and held onto the lead through the first set of pit stops.

But the Ferrari driver seemed to suffer an engine failure while cruising the the flag with only three laps to go.

Kovalainen is the second driver to take his first win this year after Robert Kubica’s win in the Canadian Grand Prix.

He had run third behind Massa and Lewis Hamilton for much of the race, moving up to second when his team mate suffered a puncture on lap 41.

Kovalainen’s win comes after the McLaren team extended his contract to the end of the 2009 season.

2009 F1 season

34 comments on “Heikki Kovalainen lucks in to maiden win”

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  1. Really feel sorry for Massa..what a race he was having till lap 67 and then something like that happens!!
    Good race for KOVI/KIMI/MASSA and a fantastic one for Glock
    Should I mention that a terrible one for Ham? ;)

  2. Good race for KOVI/KIMI/Alonso*
    Sorry for the mistake!! :P

  3. Lucks into? Nice unbiased reporting.

    How about he drove sensibly, looking after his engine and his tyres?

  4. James Allen was kind enough to confirm Alonso has a contract with Ferrari during the race, he stated that Kimi ran wide after trying to race and overtake Fernando in the OTHER Ferrari.

    how much does Timo’s towel weigh?, he stuffed it into his helmet just before he got weighed.

    also lots of fuel reached flashpoint during the pit stops, showing maybe who cools their fuel and who doesn’t?, speculation but still.. fun to watch fire with no one getting hurt.

  5. makes up for France when Massa was gifted the win, now he over cooks the engine. Lewis wearing his tires out again, nice.

    I’m happy with this result going into the 3 week break.

  6. Even though he lucked into the victory, it was a great drive by Kovalinen.

    The engine failure in Massa’s car was just heartbreaking! It probably would have been his best victory so far if he had won – Massa gets my drive of the day.

    Good driving by Alonso as well, getting back into the thick of the points!

  7. Throttle, did you see the state of his tyres in park ferme? they were wrecked.

  8. Throttle – He was third. One driver in front of him had a puncture, another one broke down three laps from the finish. He drove a good race, but he was lucky.

  9. @Throttle
    I do agree with Keith. KOVI did have a fantastic race but I mean except luck what would you call it to get the engine of race leader who is 14s clear to you, got blown with only 3 laps remaining?

  10. Lewis thrashed his tires again trying to keep up with Massa. No luck there, Lewis wore them out which isn’t the first time.

  11. I can think of very few race wins where luck has not played a part. That is the nature of the sport.

    My point is this was Heikki’s first win, let us not devalue it by saying he lucked into it. He earned it.

  12. Awful circuit as usual. Really the only race-worthy event was Felipe Massa’s brilliant start. How much motivation did Lewis give by provoking Massa after the German GP, saying that he wouldn’t have let him pass so easily? Massa had a point to prove, a team berth to guarantee and a championship to win. No problem if Lewis wants to wind up his rivals – all part of the competition – but he has to be wary about underestimating their reaction.

  13. @Nick – don’t believe Lewis thrashing his tyres caused the puncture. He was on the harder of the two tyres and not due to pit for another 8-10 laps. He would have done well to destroy them. Also, a puncture can only be the result of something poking a hole in the rubber – it’s not like him driving down to canvas in China.

    Nice to have some drama at Hungary, else the processional nature of the event would have been a real downer before the 3 week break. Got to feel sorry for Massa, but Glock was amazing all weekend. Never could have guessed he was carrying more fuel than Hamilton and Massa with his quali pace. Definately one to watch.

    All in all a good result. Hope the podium gives Kimi the drive(sic) to keep pushing for the championship. Many congrats to Kovalainen on his maiden win.

  14. William Wilgus
    3rd August 2008, 15:33

    Had it not been for the bad luck of others, he would not have won. His win is just like Button’s was—because others failed to win. STILL, `To finish first, one must first finish’.

  15. This may be off topic, but I’ve just seen Stirling Moss on TV (not live). He says, “I drove 57 races a year in many different cars. The drivers of today only do 16 or 17 races, in one car. That’s no job for a man.”

  16. Salty, his sidewalls were broken down.

  17. @Nick: So you’re telling me Hamilton can do 30 laps on super softs but not manage less than that on softs? It was a puncture. Bridgestone will confirm it soon.

  18. “because others failed to win”

    er, yes, just like every race win ever

  19. @Internet, the team told him slow down on the softs.

  20. @Nick: Not really. If you watched him onboard on his last stint you could see he was pushing as hard as he could, he was doing a lot of work behind the wheel.

    Have a look at his lap times

    His last stint is almost all in 1:22’s the same pace as his first and second stint.

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