Time to say Goodbye: Heikki Kovalainen

2 Feb

How’s his F1 career been?

After starting his F1 career with Renault in 2007 Heikki impressed in his debut season, finishing on the podium in Japan and regularly scoring points, he impressed so much that he moved to McLaren for 2008 directly swapping with Fernando Alonso. 2008 saw him progress further, claiming his only race in in Hungary and finishing on the podium in Malaysia and Italy and putting in consistent performances to pick up enough points to finish 7th in the championship. Heikki continued with McLaren in 2009 but the performances were not nearly as good not only did he not get any podiums but his consistency dropped, and at the end of 2009 Heikki was dropped from McLaren in favour of Jenson Button. Due to this Heikki was signed by Lotus (now Caterham) to drive for them in 2010 and although he was never in contention of picking up points over his three year spell with the team he put in some phenomenal performances, occasionally taking the Caterham in Q2 and far and showing why the Lotus/Caterham was the best of the ‘new’ team’s cars.

What had Heikki won before F1?

Heikki started his single seater career in 2001 in Formula Renault finishing 4th in his debut year before claiming 3rd spot the year later. In 2003 Heikki competed in the World Series by Nissan finishing 2nd before winning the series the year later, but it was in 2005 in the new GP2 formula that he made his mark, finishing 2nd, this saw him made Renault test driver in 2006 before joining the race team in 2007.

Will he be back?

He’s 31 so older than most drivers who’ve managed to return, but he is also clearly very talented. What will let Heikki down though is his lack of sponsorship backing. If Heikki did want to return I’d suggest that he attempts to compete in GP2 next season otherwise he may turn to rallying.

How do you rate his F1 career?

8/10 Won a race, finished on the podium 4 times and was consistent.

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