Heikki Kovalainen

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
I think that at Lotus Heikki has flattered to decieve. The car is clearly not capable of matching the established teams, whilst being the class of the new teams, and every now and then he shows something strong in qualifying, which grabs the attention. Yet during the race, there is little focus on the rear of the grid, unles they are getting lapped, and in that respect, I think this season certainly he has been behind his team mate.

Personally, I really like Heikki, and he seems to be really enjoying his racing at the moment, and I think it would be great if he was able to bridge the gap to the midfield in the Lotus, I think that he certainly deserves it, as he has really put in the effort and shown faith in the team. But, whilst I do not think him a Div 3 driver, he is certainly mid table division 2, the fact that he only won one race in 2 years in McLaren, 1 year of which the car was right at the peak of the grid with Ferrari is a bit poor, although to be fair, he was against a flying Lewis, but I believe there were a couple of opportunities to do much better than he did.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
The parallel I was trying to draw with Derek was that when he first came into F1 he was stunningly quick, had his moments at Renault (should have won a couple of races) but as his career drifted and the teams got progressively worse he ended up as a tail end charlie with but kept going as he was a "safe pair of hands".

Don't get me wrong, I thought Derek was great, never achieved what he was capable and coming from Hampshire has to be regarded as a God amongst men. As I type this I realise that the comparison was a little harsh as Heikki had his chance in a winning car and only ever managed it once.

Let's stick with Eddie Cheever shall we...
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
Maybe Heikki would have had a very different career if he had not come up against Lewis after a promising year at Renault. Finishing 7th when your team mate wins the WDC may be a little hard to take, even with the mechanical issues, the following year was little better. At least he seems to have found himself now,which is always good,as he is a really nice guy, I follow him on Twitter and he is one of the more regular contributors, and very personable.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Ok, {purchases a former cold war bunker and sets up a lap top from within in order to withstand what's coming next}

Heikki has gone on record saying that during his time at Mclaren he was the clear number 2 with all efforts being put into Hamilton in terms of upgrades, strategy etc and to be honest, why wouldn't it since Hamilton represented the best chance of a world title and given the season prior to Heikki's arrival a steady and dare I say it, complient hand on the wheel was the very thing that Mclaren were looking for.

When you look at the results, Hamilton and Heikki raced together 35 times, if we discount the races where either car failed to finish (or were DSQ'd) then the cars came home togehter 24 times. In that 24 times, Heikki's car crossed the line ahead of Hamiltons on 8 occasions including 1 win. Interstingly, Heikki and Hamilton never shared the podium together.

In terms of team points contribution Heikki accounted for 35 percent of Mclarens points in 08 and 30 percent in 09 which compares spookily with Massa so far in 2010 / 2011 which reads 36 percent and 31 percent.For completeness, in his one season at Renault he accounted for 58 percent of their points. I do believe that Heikki is a better driver than history would suggest so for that reason I'd have to stick with Div 2.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Well reasoned C_a_T.

I'm not one usually for what if's and maybes but if Heiki had stayed at Renault for 2008 as Alonso's team-mate do we think his career would have taken a different path? Or would he have ended up in the same place as he is now?

Anyone he says he'd have ended up in the wall at Singapore gets a chinese burn :)
 

Josh

Champion Elect
I think he would have ended up in the same place as he is now. He would have been as much of a number 2 driver at Renault with Flavio and Alonso as he was at Mclaren.
It is possible that they would have wanted Heikki to go into the wall at Singapore but somehow I think he would have refused. He then would have to leave Renault because Flavio doesn't like him anymore and would have signed for Lotus anyway.

Unless of course they would not have dared ask Heikki to go into the wall for Fernando. Then it would be possible he would still be at Renault together with Kubica perhaps.

Anyway, I think Heikki, if given a fair chance in a fair team is a typical higher midfield driver. Good enough for consistent point finishes but not good enough to handle the pressure of driving in a top team competing for the championship.

I definitely wouldn't class him as a div 3 driver.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
I think he would have ended up in the same place as he is now. He would have been as much of a number 2 driver at Renault with Flavio and Alonso as he was at Mclaren.
It is possible that they would have wanted Heikki to go into the wall at Singapore but somehow I think he would have refused. He then would have to leave Renault because Flavio doesn't like him anymore and would have signed for Lotus anyway
I agree he would have been number 2 but think his results would have been much better than Piquet Jr's and I wonder whether because he was a number 2 at a team not at the front whether his performance would have come under as much focus as it did at Mclaren and whether his rep would have been as tarnished when he came to leaving Mclaren. Maybe someone like Sauber would have picked him up if that was the case and he'd be in a better position than he is now.

Anyways as others have said a Div 2 driver, lovely bloke, doesn't seem to have the killer instinct. At best could rise to a Gerhard Berger status, at worst Oliver Panis but most likely to reach a Martin Brundle status. Liked by most, rated by some acheived very little.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Did anyone else see the BBC interview Heiki in quali? Jake asked him if he was more worried because Michael Schumacher lined up behind him. Heiki said it didn't matter to him which driver was behind him. DC told him he should be more worried if its Michael Schumacher and Heiki hit back with - and I quote -

"Maybe if you had spent less time worrying that it was Michael Schumacher behind you then you'd have won more races"

LOL
 
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