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Heikki Kovalainen


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#1 Rentta

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:15

There has been quite a lot discussion in here and in media about this driver so i think he "deservers" own topic.


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#2 Risil

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:24



#3 TheWilliamzer

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:28

Heikki improved so much from 2010 to now. I can't see him staying in Caterham next season if they keep their current form.

#4 Menace

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:29

Heikki has been driving fantastically last year and this year so far. I think he finally has back his confidence, and it looks like he is an extremely hard worker, pushing the team.

Petrov has been better then Trulli so far, but Heikki is really shining as of late. Getting that car into Q2, wow. Too bad he has been so unlucky in the races.

#5 Vesuvius

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:34

Heikki indeed has driven superbly last couple season and he has said that specially he has developed hugely when it comes to doing setup work for races that was his problem during McLaren days. He deserves a chance in better teams. his qualifying pace I think is really top class and to be honest I don't know if there is a faster driver on single lap than he is. Hopefully he will leave caterham at the end of the season if caterham doesn't progress more during this season.

#6 Louis Mr. F1

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:48

Where could he end up next year if he leaves Caterham?

There are potential openings at Ferrari / Red Bull / McLaren / Mercedes / Williams by the end of this year, I really want to see some driver movements after having the same driver combinations in the last few years for the top teams.

#7 TFLB

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:52

I don't think he's that good to be honest, he's been flattered by his teammates' bad luck for the past two and a bit seasons. He's not bad in qualifying, but then that was the case at Mclaren as well, and we all know how that ended up. Also worth noting this year is that Kovalainen has been receiving updates before Petrov, so any comparisons between the two are difficult. I think he will end his career at Caterham, he's not that young anymore and is a known quantity for better teams, which in this case is bad.

#8 Seanspeed

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:57

I wouldn't mind seeing him at Ferrari. There's a couple others I'd put in before him, but he'd still be a pretty smart choice I think.

#9 Slowinfastout

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 22:05

IMO Kovalainen's real form his hidden by the level of performance of his car, which can't be compared to anything else. Also, I don't think Petrov and Trulli are/were good yardsticks.

I think he' stuck in no man's land like Glock, I don't expect any top team to take a punt on these guys because they can't be properly evaluated, so what's left is their past baggage prior to joining the new teams.

#10 PNSD

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 22:32

Heikki was in his second season at Mclaren, right?

Take a look at Buttons second season. After that he should have been out of F1!! Yet he has managed to give Lewis a hard time and even beat him over a season.

Heikki should not be judged on his Mclaren stint. For one, he was up against one of F1's toughest drivers and as a rookie or new guy (only two years in!) that is hard to understand, especially against Lewis who was also relatively new. Jenson at least had experience of being beaten, or having quick team mates. Jenson knew Lewis was epically quick. Heikki was still at that age and had that freshness in which I bet he thought he could have challenged Lewis. And when he couldn't, he crumbled. Heikki and Lewis debuted at the same time, and IMO Heikki thought, if Lewis could do it, why couldn't he? Well.. he couldn't.

Heikki had changed a lot as a driver since being totally, utterly destroyed by Lewis. He deserves another top team chance IMO because he is far too good to be where he is now.

IMO Heikki right now would be at least at a similar level to Button, if not ahead. I have a lot of respect for him and think he is a fantastic guy and surely has to be a fan favourite. At Ferrari he would play the number 2 role he never could at Mclaren. And that includes winning when Alonso can't.

#11 launcher

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 22:35

I wouldn't mind seeing him at Ferrari. There's a couple others I'd put in before him, but he'd still be a pretty smart choice I think.



When he had the chance in a top team he proved to be B class. Nothing has changed since, as stated above his real form has been hidden in that team so there is a perception he is driving good.

#12 Spunout

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 22:40

In recent interview Heikki himself was quite realistic about this. He pointed out there are other drivers "ahead of him in the line/queue". I guess he basically meant if drivers from top teams (Hamilton, Schumacher) move, they will be replaced by someone from midfield teams, allowing Heikki to replace whoever replaced them :)

I cannot see top teams hiring Heikki. McLaren won´t take him back. Red Bull is happy with Vettel/Webber. Lotus is happy with Räikkönen/Grosjean. Merc? If Schumi quits, possible but not likely. Ferrari? IMO they could hire Heikki as #2 for Alonso - good team player and nice guy, but not the next #1. Given Alonso´s brilliant performance this year, that sounds plausible...but I have this feeling that Ferrari must start thinking about next #1. And I don´t think they see Heikki as next Schumi/Kimi/Fernando, quite frankly.

Hopefully somebody picks Heikki up, he deserves better than Caterham.

#13 Disgrace

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:06

I don't think he's that good to be honest, he's been flattered by his teammates' bad luck for the past two and a bit seasons. He's not bad in qualifying, but then that was the case at Mclaren as well, and we all know how that ended up. Also worth noting this year is that Kovalainen has been receiving updates before Petrov, so any comparisons between the two are difficult. I think he will end his career at Caterham, he's not that young anymore and is a known quantity for better teams, which in this case is bad.


I have to agree, although I would point to being flattered by a past-it Trulli. If Glock had equal equipment, the B-tier race would be a bit more interesting.

He has his confidence back so good for him but he already failed at the top level so putting him in a top car again would be an uninspired choice. Glock would be more an inspired choice as we haven't seen what he can do in a WDC-winning car.

After his 2009 season, he is where he deserves, but he has earnt his way back to something better since.

#14 Blue

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:33

Have you seen this

Heikki makes a penalty shot with a car.


#15 UPRC

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:44

Heikki is definitely one of those drivers that gets better with age ala Button, Hakkinen, and Massa. I think in another year or two he'd be a great pick for a team near the front of the pack.

#16 Slowinfastout

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:57

He trashed Fisichella even more than Alonso did, so it's definitely not a case of a driver slowly improving and getting better with age.

The obvious theory is he has bags of talent but he collapses under pressure... it's harsh but it's the angle I would have if I was looking to hand out millions to a guy to drive my car.

He's a thouroughly nice bloke though, a sponsor's dream and a team player, so who knows..

#17 SirRacer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 00:00

Wow he didn't have his own topic? O.o

I think he's brilliant, he himself said that he got his confidence back, and I personally think he improved a lot.

I remember I was impressed with him when in 2008 when in the first race he qualified just 3 or 4 tenths behind Hamilton (that's something Jenson usually does too now, no?), and it was clear then that he was just the second driver. Fuel loads, strategies, etc etc, I'm sure it was a hard time for Heikki there with Hamilton, No wonder he lost the confidence.

I think he has what it takes to be much further up in the grid, in midfield, sauber, williams, even Mercedes... and if he proves to be good enough, why not, even the top teams.

I say give him a try.

#18 Disgrace

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 00:17

He trashed Fisichella even more than Alonso did, so it's definitely not a case of a driver slowly improving and getting better with age.

The obvious theory is he has bags of talent but he collapses under pressure... it's harsh but it's the angle I would have if I was looking to hand out millions to a guy to drive my car.

He's a thouroughly nice bloke though, a sponsor's dream and a team player, so who knows..


That's true. His second half of his debut Renault season as well as that Fuji drive were just excellent. He had to pick himself up from an abysmal first half and did, thus demoting Fisi to a Force India.

Those performances made his McLaren failure all the more disappointing, as I thought as he did himself one suspects, that he could at least match Hamilton.

#19 launcher

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 00:44

He trashed Fisichella even more than Alonso did, so it's definitely not a case of a driver slowly improving and getting better with age.


You have been watching a different season because he only beat Fisichella 30-21 in points and spent the first half of the season being beaten by him. He was only slightly better than a broken down fisichella, so god knows where you got the idea he trashed him more than Alonso.

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#20 2ms

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:18

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kovalainen in the Lotus next year alongside Grosjean. My spider-sense tells me Kimi's going to be moving to RBR or McL. I really don't see him at RBR bc he's not enough of a star and/or proven under pressure for Red Bull to want to opt for him over someone from their own stable or a WDC (eg Kimi). He won't be going to Ferrari bc Monte doesn't get along well at all with drivers "from the North"/very not "Latin", and also their pride would prohibit them from taking on someone who appeared to be booted from McL. There's no way he's going to McL for obvious reasons.

He'll probably be staying at Caterham. But it sure would be interesting to see him in the Lotus next year. He's one of those drivers who looked great in the beginning, then seemed to buckle, but now you wonder what his real potential is after he's had more time to come into his own. I guess a little like Grosjean, as a matter of fact.

#21 H0R

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:45

I even think he wasn't that bad at McLaren. Obviously outpaced by Hamilton (but who isn't), a bit unlucky, and in the end without too much confidence. If he'd had more experienced he'd coped better with this situation and brought in better results.

#22 sofarapartguy

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:02

Is there a possibility for Heikki to get back to Mclaren next year? :drunk:

#23 hippie

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:22

I have to agree, although I would point to being flattered by a past-it Trulli. If Glock had equal equipment, the B-tier race would be a bit more interesting.

He has his confidence back so good for him but he already failed at the top level so putting him in a top car again would be an uninspired choice. Glock would be more an inspired choice as we haven't seen what he can do in a WDC-winning car.

After his 2009 season, he is where he deserves, but he has earnt his way back to something better since.

I don't see Heikki in a top car either -- unless Caterham develops into one. And it might, you never know. ;)

One point, though: Heikki's natural driving style didn't suit the McLaren cars because it caused excessive tyre wear. After the first half of the 2008 season, McLaren advised Heikki to "fix" the tyre wear problem by imitating Lewis's driving style. That helped Heikki to save the tyres better, but it was a definite handicap in races. In qualifying Heikki could drive like he wanted, but not in races.

At Caterham, there has been no need for Heikki to imitate another driver's driving style, and that's one of the reasons why he is now driving better than he did at McLaren.

#24 Headspin

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:31

When he had the chance in a top team he proved to be B class. Nothing has changed since, as stated above his real form has been hidden in that team so there is a perception he is driving good.


I see. Drivers never change. Except as a rookie and when they're over the top, anytime else they're constantly on a same level. Man you're really tiring.

#25 Kvothe

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:42

Heikki's one of my favourite drivers and i'm really looking forward too seeing what he can deliver with an updated Caterham.

#26 Seanspeed

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 16:12

I even think he wasn't that bad at McLaren. Obviously outpaced by Hamilton (but who isn't), a bit unlucky, and in the end without too much confidence. If he'd had more experienced he'd coped better with this situation and brought in better results.

Clearly the problem was that when Ron took him apart, he didn't quite put him together properly again.

#27 SirRacer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 16:16

He probably saw this topic and his pressure is back on, that's why he didn't perform that well today! hehe

#28 F1TL

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 17:54

He sounded really disappointed in the post-quali interview. He said it doesn't really matter if it's wet or dry tomorrow, they just haven't got the pace and the gap to the front is still just as big as it was before. I'd say he's definitely going to leave Caterham after this season.

#29 2ms

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:02

But what scenarios do people see him leaving Caterham under? What possible driver shuffles?

#30 908T

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:06

But what scenarios do people see him leaving Caterham under? What possible driver shuffles?

Ferrari, Sauber?

#31 Lone

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:08

I don't think F1 is his only option. He doesn't seem to be racing for a paycheck and if he feels he can't be competitive in F1 I believe he would choose another racing series instead of just racing for positions in F1.

#32 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:11

My spider-sense tells me Kimi's going to be moving to RBR or McL.


You are absolutely dreaming on both counts. Kimi will be lucky to hold onto that Lotus seat, let alone move up the grid. He should be hammering Grosjean at the moment, and just isn't.


#33 TFLB

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:15

If Kovalainen leaves Caterham I don't think he'll find it easy to get another F1 drive. All the drivers who moved to new teams effectively killed their careers.

#34 F1TL

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 18:15

You are absolutely dreaming on both counts. Kimi will be lucky to hold onto that Lotus seat, let alone move up the grid. He should be hammering Grosjean at the moment, and just isn't.

I don't see why. Grosjean is not that bad, just a little error-prone. And he certainly is fast.

Edited by F1TL, 07 July 2012 - 18:16.


#35 2ms

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:46

You are absolutely dreaming on both counts. Kimi will be lucky to hold onto that Lotus seat, let alone move up the grid. He should be hammering Grosjean at the moment, and just isn't.


So I take it you dislike Kimi. But F1 teams are run by people who have known Kimi and his driving abilities for over ten years now. They aren't making their judgments based on how well Kimi compares to Grosjean. They're making them on how good a driver they know he is from years of observation and, in the case of McL, personal experience. And of course, he IS soundly beating Grosjean anyway. Despite Grosjean being Renault/Enstone's "Hamilton" who they seem to investing the future of the team in. In case you haven't noticed, Lotus is delighted with their drivers. You will also notice that they present a remarkable amount of PR in favor of Grosjean, despite Grosjean having substantially poorer results than Kimi. In my opinion, this is not coincidence. It's what they need to do since they expect Kimi will be switching to a more competitive team next year.

Anyway, this is Kovalainen thread, and I imagine Kovalainen would likely be Renault/Enstone's first choice to replace Kimi. He did a great job with them before, and who else would they take over him?

Edited by 2ms, 08 July 2012 - 09:49.


#36 Rentta

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 23:04

Heikki was guest in latest tfl http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

#37 jjcale

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:51

Almost a second faster than VP yesterday :eek:

#38 Puhoon

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:24

I don't think he's that good to be honest, he's been flattered by his teammates' bad luck for the past two and a bit seasons. He's not bad in qualifying, but then that was the case at Mclaren as well, and we all know how that ended up. Also worth noting this year is that Kovalainen has been receiving updates before Petrov, so any comparisons between the two are difficult. I think he will end his career at Caterham, he's not that young anymore and is a known quantity for better teams, which in this case is bad.


That's BS. If there's only one new part they flip a coin to decide which one gets it.

Edited by Puhoon, 22 July 2012 - 07:25.


#39 hippie

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:13

That's BS. If there's only one new part they flip a coin to decide which one gets it.

Petrov has said in an interview that they tossed a coin in Malaysia to decide who gets the latest update, and Vitaly won.

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#40 Vesuvius

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:48

Almost a second faster than VP yesterday :eek:



Heikki said he did a perfect lap and it was indeed a nice lap :up:

just saw Hamilton interview from yesterday, where he praised Heikki:

"He is one of the best top drivers but sadly he doesn't have a top car at the moment.But he is very focused,mentally strong and very very fast driver.I hope he gets a chance to show his true speed on a better car in a future, he is now doing his 100th gp weekend and I hope there is many more to come!"
:up:

#41 TFLB

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:04

That's BS. If there's only one new part they flip a coin to decide which one gets it.

But their 'big' update at Valencia was only for Kovalainen, Petrov got it at Silverstone.

Edited by TFLB, 22 July 2012 - 11:04.


#42 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 18:33

When he had the chance in a top team he proved to be B class. Nothing has changed since, as stated above his real form has been hidden in that team so there is a perception he is driving good.



You could say the same about Grosjean, now look!