Heikki Kovalainen: The Lost Man

10 Jul

As some of you may know (And most of you wont), i’m quite a big Heikki Kovalainen fan. He’s not my favourite driver (That would be Jenson Button), but he does come a close second. Like most things in my life, I expect very few of you will actually understand anything I write but still, i’ve got to do something with my time. Here we go.

I’m not going to pretend HKov doesn’t have his flaws, but I still think that he has proven enough to show that he deserves a drive in F1, even if it is only with one of the teams towards the back (Caterham, Marussia etc. You get the point). I feel he was hard done by when he lost his Caterham seat, and to be honest I think he’d have done a better job than Giedo Van Der Garde, and pushed Charles Pic for top spot of the back four. Ironically enough, I was actually hoping Van Der Garde got the seat at Caterham once I knew HKov wasn’t going to get it, him having had to wait so long for his chance. Well, he’s had his chance, and unfortunately I don’t think he’s done enough to prove he deserves to keep it. Whilst Charles Pic fights Jules Bianchi and maybe possibly gets a bit near to the Williams cars, VDG is having to give everything to make sure he doesn’t come last. Now, someone has to come last, but that shouldn’t be the case when your teammate is doing so much better.

OK, so we went a bit off topic there, but it does beg a question, how would HKov have done against Pic this season? Well, we might never know. But then, nobody said it was impossible…..

Either way, lets get back to where we were beforehand. I still think HKov was hard done by when Caterham relieved him of his seat, but I do think he’s good enough to go back into F1. People forget his first season in 2007 for Renault, one in which he outdid his much more experience teammate Giancarlo Fisichella by 30 points to 21, with Heikki grabbing a second place in Japan along the way. I wasn’t surprised when Mclaren offered him a drive in 2008 for the outgoing Nando, and looked forward to seeing him fighting for the Woking outfit.

Let’s not kid ourselves here, Heikki didn’t have the world’s greatest season in 2008. Whilst his teammate Lewis Hamilton went on to steal the world championship from Felipe Massa, the only think Heikki could steal from Felipe was victory in Hungary, after Massa’s engine died a few laps from the end. But, that said, I feel he did well for his first season in a new team, consistently scoring points and grabbing podiums in Malaysia and Italy. In fairness he did outdo Hamilton (Not including retirements) in 5 of the races, which is better than people make him out for, especially as Hamilton was his teammate. He finished 7th again, and I felt he would do well when 09 rolled up.

It’s a shame then, that Mclaren had a car that rivaled this year’s in terms of how slow they could make it. The fight to the end in 08 had stalled development for 09, and so the car suffered. It has to be noted that Heikki did actually go on a scoring spree between Germany and Singapore, so it wasn’t all bad news.

Roll out the Lotus (Now Caterham) years, and it was a dream team of HKov and that old man Jarno Trulli who would potentially be fighting for midfield positions in their new team. Well, that’s what Lotus/Caterham told us at the time. (We’re still waiting in that promise).  In short, 2010 showed Heikki to be a better driver than Trulli on most fronts, cumulating in a 12th place finish in Japan (He seems to like Japan). In my usual style, Heikki 343, Jarno 382. Case closed. 2011 was much the same, with Heikki 342 (An improvement), Jarno 356. It must also be said, not including races where either retired, Heikki outplaced Jarno 8 to 3.

OK so this is getting a little repetitive here, but the point stands. Heikki is good enough to race in F1, the stats show that he is more than adept to racing in the lower teams (If not at what was Renault). Once an opportunity comes up, he’s definitely one of the first people i’d look at.

(As much as my best friend Tom would like to disagree with my reasoning as to why I believe HKov is a fantastic driver, i’m sticking to my opinion. You cannot turn me! 😛 )

Late note: I forgot to add in 2012, which was Heikki 337 to Vitaly Petrov’s 348, so Heikki won again despite coming last of the Caterham/Marussia battle in the actual, flawed, standings. (If you were wondering, Charles Pic got 387 and Timo Glock got 357, meaning the actual order using this system should be Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, Pic)


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