Kovalainen expects “hardcore” season finale

Brazilian Grand Prix

Heikki Kovalainen says he’s doing his best to prepare for a “hardcore” end to the 2010 season with back-to-back races in countries with a six-hour time difference.

The Lotus driver said:

It?s a pretty hardcore end to the season and I?ll make sure I?m properly prepared by resting a bit and then I?ll do enough training to adjust to the time changes, flight times and the races themselves.

To be honest, it?s easier for me than it is for many other people in the team. The last couple of races require a massive push from everyone to set up the garages, go racing and then pack up everything and relocate to Abu Dhabi.

By the end of the season we will have all earned some time off, but we have to make sure we stay focused on securing tenth place, and for the next couple of races that?s what it?s all about.
Heikki Kovalainen

Team mate Jarno Trulli retired in a crash on the first lap of last year’s race but said he enjoys the track which has more “rhythm” than some modern venues:

Brazil is a good circuit to drive on, it?s one of my favourite tracks. I?ve always enjoyed myself there and the atmosphere is great, but it?s not a place where I?ve had a great deal of luck in the races, so hopefully that will change this year.

The start is crucial, but if you can get through that without any problems, the rest of the lap is pretty rewarding. There?s none of the long straight/first gear hairpins that you have on quite a few of the modern tracks, so you can get into a good rhythm and really lean on the car into the corners.

My best result there was fourth in 2000, and while I know repeating that is obviously unlikely, our goal will be to get both cars across the finish line and go to Abu Dhabi still as the best of the new teams.
Jarno Trulli

Team principal Tony Fernandes will not be attending this weekend’s race but said he will be “watching every second of the race weekend from home”.

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19 comments on Kovalainen expects “hardcore” season finale

  1. BasCB said on 1st November 2010, 8:35

    It looks like Lotus has the 10th spot in the WCC bagged with all the 13th place finishes.
    Interesting that Fernandez will not be in Brazil as I understood they were going to announce the Renault deal in Brazil. Might it be, that this was postponed to first clear the team name thing in Malaysia/UK, before finishing this deal?

    • Casanova (@casanova) said on 1st November 2010, 11:05

      Don’t forget that 12th place that Heikki scored in Japan!

      HRT & Virgin will be hoping for another chaotic race with lots of retirements – being in the right place at the right time to sneak an 11th place could turn the whole “new teams championship” around.

  2. To be fair though Kovy says “hardcore” more than Massa says “for sure” :P Just kidding!

    It must be really tough for everyone in the garage. By the end iof the season everyone must be thoroughly worn out and it’ll get worse for them when there’s a few more races stuck on.

  3. I used to have good respect for heikki until his comments to BBC on washed out saturday in suzuka. When BBC asked him whom he think can win title this year?? His reply was too blunt “i don’t care about championship as long as i am not in that”.

    I have lost all respect wht ever i have for him. When you can’t respect the people who are at top of title fight for which he is also trying to win (he may never win i.e diff story), it was totally ridiculous comment. As we all know, heikki will never have chance to compete at top again (McLaren was his best & last opportunity., so he will never care about F1 championship.

    • Girts said on 1st November 2010, 10:22

      Never say never. Heikki has had a good season with Lotus and, after a couple of years, he will probably get a chance to fight for the title in a Mercedes or in a Renault. How many people thought in 2008 that Barrichello, Button or Webber would ever be able to fight for the DWC?

      About the interview to BBC. This is probably not the answer that everyone wants to hear but it’s an honest one and I believe that Felipe Massa or Jenson Button actually think the same at the moment. F1 drivers are very egocentric.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st November 2010, 14:06

        Heikki isn’t good enough to fight for the championship. He had a championship winning car in 2008, and a race winning car for the last few races of 2009, but he never made an impact. I think he really doesn’t care about the WDC because he knows thats never gonna be him up there. Right now he just gets lapped by the top teams, and that is his job, to ove out of the way and let the real racers race.

        • re-play- said on 2nd November 2010, 0:25

          lol man i think they never give him a good car they just wanted Hamilton to shine!

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd November 2010, 20:00

            I get what ur talking about.. is it the same way Massa wasn’t given a Ferrari this year, Barichello wasn’t given one either from 2000-04. I suppose Nakajima wasn’t given the same Williams against Rosberg last year, Fisichella wasn’t given the same Renault in 2005-06. Thats a good point there.. I never really thought of it that way.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd November 2010, 20:43

            @re-play- They gave him a brand new Mclaren MP4-23, named the Autosport car of the year for 2008.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd November 2010, 20:42

        How many people thought in 2008 that Barrichello, Button or Webber would ever be able to fight for the WDC?

        No-one, but the difference between Kovalainen and Button is that Button actually snapped up his opportunity to win a championship, given a capable car. Kovalainen squandered it, and ended up behind his teammate, both Ferraris, both BMWs, and a Renault. Even Webber isn’t as embarrassingly slow as Kovalainen was in 2008.

    • tobinen said on 1st November 2010, 10:23

      TBF, not many drivers would care either if they weren’t in the championship. That’s the nature of of the beast.

    • CarsVsChildren said on 1st November 2010, 10:25

      Really? I thought that comment was awesome. Honest, and realistic. He has his nose to the grindstone ensuring his and his team’s targets are met, showing focus and determination to help Lotus finish 10th.

      He wasn’t disrespecting them, he was simply stating a fact. He is a racer, and he is worried about his own race, not what other drivers are doing.

      It is commitment like that which will help Lotus drag itself off the bottom of the grid, and hopefully give him a shot at race wins in the future.

      How is that helped by caring what Vettel, Alonso, Webber et al are doing at the pointy end of the grid?

    • Adrian said on 1st November 2010, 11:00

      It’s funny, because (while I’ve always liked Heikki a little) he really won me over with his paper boat…and his honesty answering that question!!

      And who’s to say that Lotus won’t leap up the grid over the next few years and give him the chance to challenge for them…look at Renault – in 2001 they were at the back of the grid, 4 years later they’re winning championships. Now I’m not saying it’s likely, but it’s certainly not impossible!!

    • Teppo said on 1st November 2010, 20:46

      Hehee, funny comment :) With this logic you most likely can’t respect any of the drivers on the grid :)

  4. I want to see some side by side action with a 4 way photo finish. Or just some good hard desperate racing from vettel and hamilton.

    None of this ‘it’s too wet to race’. GO HOME IF IT IS TOO WET TO RACE. Yeah, what now?

  5. hope he is right. 4 drivers- 1 title…

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 2nd November 2010, 1:21

    Trulli is coming on fire, reports are that B.Senna may replaces him in the team for 2011 so he needs to show something in the last two races with a very difficult car if he wants to stay with the team.

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