I'm ready to drive a better car: Heikki

I'm ready to drive a better car: Heikki

After his performances in the GP2 series and the World Series by Nissan, Heikki Kovalainen was tipped for greatness in Formula One circuit.

But like many of the Caterham drivers’ contemporaries, he failed to live up to his expectations. Barring his one win at the Hungaroring for McLaren, Kovalainen has not delivered, but he refuses to give in.

Deccan Herald caught up with him at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.


Has your season panned out according to plan?

Overall, it has been a disappointing season. Everybody in the team was hoping for more. I think from where we started, we have made progress. As a team, we are in a much better shape than we were. We have bigger facilities now and everything is now in place.

Now, we need to develop the car. We know where we went wrong. We were quite okay in developing the car till Valencia. After that, we lost out. The reason for that was we were focussing just on the exhaust. We were trying to get good benefit out of it but we did not. In the meantime, we did not develop the car in the normal areas: front wing, rear wing, bodywork, floor etc.

But we have changed the philosophy now. We are still working on the exhaust but we are also working on other areas. In the last three races, we have brought in updates. There are updates coming for Abu Dhabi. So, I think we are back on the right track.

Given the fact that you have done exceedingly well in the GP2 series, how frustrating it’s not to be able to replicate that performance in F1?

It is normal. But I have not let it get to me (frustration from not scoring points). I am happy that I have been able to carry on and keep the performance level high, if not higher than before. That’s what it comes down to… keep your focus and keep pushing regardless of the performance of your car. Everybody want to see progress and we can do better than we have done so far.

Would you, like your compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, take up rallying at some stage?

At the moment, it’s all about Formula One. We saw that when Kimi went to rallying, it was not so easy, especially at the top where the guys are very good. It may be good to go to rallying one day.

Could you take us through the 2004 Race of Champions?

It was a fun event. I did not expect to be able to beat Michael (Schumacher), Sebastien (Loeb) or David (Coulthard). It wasn’t that important for my career but people found out about me when I was there.

What are your visions for the future?

I feel I am ready to drive a better car. I am waiting for Tony Fernandes (Caterham team principal) to see what to do, whether to keep me or take someone else. It is up to him to decide. Personally, I don’t have any plans apart from F1.

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