Heikki Kovalainen

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    What’s the general view on Heikki’s performance this year?

    I really didn’t rate him at Mclaren but now the pressure is off he seems to of settled into his stride somewhat.

    Granted they are a good distance off the pace but in comparison to other drivers racing at the back of the field….


    Ned Flanders

    I just wrote this in the driver ratings section 10 minutes ago… and saying as my views haven’t changed since then I may as well copy and paste it here!:

    “Kovalainen is proving it is possible to impress in a poor car. It will take a long time to repair the damage two years at McLaren did to his repuation, but this is a good start.”

    I expect to see him back in a front running team before too long, unless he’s prepared to try and guide Lotus up the grid, which wil take a loooooong time…



    …unless he’s prepared to try and guide Lotus up the grid, which wil take a loooooong time…

    My understanding is that was very much his intention, but if a big name team knocks on your door it’s going to be difficult to resist.

    I’ve been impressed with his motivation, desire and speed this year, much more so that Trulli who on occasion looks well miffed.



    I started supporting him in 2007, when he begun his f1 career. He was poor at the beginning, but got some pace throughout the year and scored quite some points in the second half of the season. In 2010 he seems fast in the slow Lotus, he doesn’t make much errors, and he’s improving as a driver.

    I think he has quite some talent and might be winning someday. But in McLaren something was clearly wrong – maybe the car didn’t suit him, maybe he didn’t get good equipment, maybe he just didn’t feel good there. Something was clearly wrong there and he showed almost nothing there.



    Heikki is a bit of a muddle in my opinion, always wished him well at McLaren. He got chewed up and spat out unfortunatley. Massivley inconsitant. Hope he does see it through to the front with Lotus. Certainly the best of the rest of the rest this season.



    When I was at the Australian GP I couldn’t beleive how popular he was. On the drivers paraide he got the biggest cheer of all the drivers from the crowd, apart from Webber of course.



    I think he is an average driver, he didn’t deserve to be at McLaren nor did he deserve to be at Lotus. I think he is about Williams level of ability. IMO



    Hello all. I post as “sumedh” on the main site. Great to see the forum back.

    In 2007, I was impressed by Heikki. In 2008 & 2009, I started feeling that he perhaps isn’t that good. So far in 2010, he seems to have done better.

    I think Heikki’s Achilles Heel is his race pace. His qualifying speed is phenomenal, but he seems unable to translate that into consistent race pace (Monza 2009, Valencia 2009 – to cite a few).

    This flaw is not particularly apparent in 2010 mainly because, the Lotus is far too slow and he is paired against Jarno Trulli, another driver whose race pace has always been poor.

    What Heikki needs is few long days of continuous testing to improve his race pace. Just a few good tricks more, he can get a race-seat at one of the top teams on merit!!



    I always thought Heikki would impress this year and general conesnsous is that he has. He was not able to survive the assault on his confidence of being up against Hamilton in the team completely built around Hamilton, but not many drivers would be able to. I think Kovalainen is a very good driver and is a great asset for Lotus moving forward.



    I’m pleased for Heikki. He’s doing good. I;ve always liked him and if I hadn’t had a complete brain freeze earlier I would have gave him a nod on the favourite driver/team topic.

    He’s back in his element I think. He could well be a good long term driver for Lotus to hang on to. Maybe he isn’t a title contender -although I don’t like to dismiss someone entirely- but he could be a race winner one day. Although Jarno has *just* outqualified him I believe but he is a qualifying specialist after all. It’s so hard to be definitive because Heikki’s car seems to break less than Jarno’s so I’d say he’ll find it easier to be the cheery one but he seems to be approaching this experience with the right plucky attitude which is impressing me more than anything.

    I think his talent was clear at Renault -2nd at Japan and 4th and 4th at Canada and US. Mclaren (in my opinion) was just too big a step far too soon. He had a seat formerly occupied by Alonso twice in his career and he’d gone from a midfield car to a championship winning one. Some great drivers and very good ones can make that change but for some others it just takes time. He clearly wasn’t a threat to Lewis and I always thought he had equal equipment and opportunity but nothing was ever really expected. Lewis was always the star and I think that really affected him.

    He did manage some good drives at Mclaren; pole at Silverstone, China 09, Spa 09 and Valencia qualifying looked good until the last corner I think he made a mistake but he did show some pace.

    Sorry for the ramble. I think I missed the forum and extra F1 chat!



    i think he’s doing great. he enjoys himself which is important, unlike trulli who seems really frustrated all the time about his car.



    I like him. But it’s hard to tell how good he is or can be.

    I love his attitude this year. He knows the Lotus project is going to take time.

    They can’t expect to be good from the first year and Heikki knows this and acts accordingly. He is very motivated and doing a great job this year.

    I hope he’ll stay with lotus for the long run, and who knows what might be :)



    He “seemed” to have the legs on Trulli this season, but as Anthony Davidson pointed out, they aren’t too far apart.

    On that note, Trulli isn’t stellar, so by direct comparison, neither is Heikki. I like the guy, I just don’t think he’s a topline racing driver. All I guess he can say to that is “Perkele!”



    …he’ll find it easier to be the cheery one…

    Cheery is one thing, but Heikki takes it to a whole new level!

    On a more serious note, he does seem a lot more comfortable at Lotus. Whatever the reason, it seemed like he was never really happy at McLaren and it tended to show in his race performances. I would agree that his qualifying pace has tended to be better than his race pace in the past, but it will be interesting to see how far he can go with this Lotus team now that he has the motivation to really push himself.



    Heikki is the best out of the new team’s drivers this year, but he has the better car and his team mate has suffered from many mechanical failures. Anyway this shows he is a better driver than others.

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