Tag Archives: Heikki Kovalainen

I think I’m a Hamilton fan, not a McLaren fan!

That’s probably not the post subject you’d expect to see on a blog called McLaren Fan Blog, but I think watching the race in Monza earlier has made me come to that realisation. The epiphany came when Lewis went out on the first lap and my heart sunk seeing Jenson Button in 1st, knowing full well that if it stayed like that then he’d only be a handful of points behind Lewis. There was then a chance that Jenson could end the season with more points than Lewis and possibly as champion, though not that likely. I didn’t like that – I wanted Lewis to be the highest placed McLaren driver, and when Alonso took the lead I was actually relieved that Jenson wouldn’t be as close to Lewis in the Driver’s Championship than I’d previously thought.

As I McLaren fan I should want either driver to win, I don’t.

To the people reading this post, I can imagine this will be a very unpopular opinion but all I can be is honest. It was Lewis Hamilton that first got me really interested in Formula 1 back at Fuji 2007, and it has now become clear that it’s him that I’m still firmly behind, and not the team he’s driving for. I want Lewis to be the number one driver in the team and I want Lewis to be a 2 time champion and not Jenson Button.

I guess this never became an issue before because in 2007 Hamilton was beating team mate Alonso and in 2008 and 2009 he was a long way ahead of Kovalainen. Earlier this season I had similar feelings but it was so early on that it didn’t seem like it could be a reality, not through the eyes of a staunch Lewis supporter. Now however, with just 5 races left, Jenson is a lot closer to Lewis and all it takes is a bit of bad luck and Lewis could be only the 2nd best McLaren driver – that’s something I’m not happy to accept..

I guess the ultimate question is if Lewis Hamilton drove for another team next year would I still support McLaren, and the answer is no. In fact if Lewis left Formula 1 I think my support would probably shift to Robert Kubica – he’s a great talent and my grandparents on my Mother’s side were Polish. Maybe it’s time I started thinking about renaming this Blog Hamilton fan Blog instead?

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Filed under Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Italian, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Robert Kubica

McLaren: Year on Year Comparison – Race 3, Malaysia 2010

2009 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 5 4 9 TOTAL 12 13 25
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 6 2 8
Malaysian 2 0 2 Australian 3 10 13
Chinese 3 4 7 Malaysian 3 1 4

 
 

2010 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 13 10 23 TOTAL 23 31 66
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 15 6 21
Malaysian 5 0 5 Australian 8 25 33
Chinese 8 10 18 Malaysian 8 4 12

 
Despite the fantastic performance from Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on Sunday, McLaren have actually lost ground on the 2009 season thanks to Heikki Kovalianen’s 5th place in the Chinese Grand Prix last year. Interestingly Lewis Hamilton was 6th place in the 3rd race of last season, just as he was this year, and in the Australian Grand Prix 2 weeks ago – that’s a trend we want to see broken, and replaced with smaller numbers!

It’s clear to see what effect the new points system is having as using the 2009 points system Jenson would only be 1 point ahead of Lewis, rather than the 8 points ahead he currently is under the 2010 points system.

Jenson Button in Malaysia

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

Even though the 2009 season mad eup a bit of ground this weekend, the current season is still clearly beating last season, and if this story from PlanetF1.com is to be believed then their new ride-height system could make them very competitive in China, up there with the Red Bulls competitive which will see them grabbing a bucket load of points.

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Filed under Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Year on Year Comparisons

McLaren: Year on Year Comparison – Race 2, Australia 2010

After the poor start to the 2009 season and Jenson’s victory in Australia this past Sunday, I have a feeling the gulf between the 2009 and 2010 points total is about to expand, a lot!

2009 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 2 0 2 TOTAL 9 12 21
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 6 2 8
Malaysian 2 0 2 Australian 3 10 13

 
 

2010 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 5 0 5 TOTAL 23 31 54
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 15 6 21
Malaysian 5 0 5 Australian 8 25 33

 
Interesting to see how the new points system has meant that McLaren have accrued two and half times as many points for 2010 than if we’d still been on the 2009 points system. The way the points have spread out also sees Jenson Button catapulted into an 8 point lead over team mate Lewis Hamilton who was 7 points ahead of Jenson after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Compared to 2009, 2010 has been a roaring success and whether you are comparing the seasons under the 2009 or 2010 points system, the evidence if clear for all to see. Unless something catastrophic happens I don’t think we’ll see the 2010 points total dropping off to anywhere near the 2009 levels. Even with Lewis Hamilton’s resurgence in the second half of 2009, I’d predict that the second half of the 2010 will out-perform last year thanks to having two drivers who are equally capable of big points hauls – something that Heikki Kovalainen couldn’t achieve last season.

Lewis and Jenson at the launch of the McLaren MP4-25

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

This time last season McLaren were 7th in the Constructors’ Championship with just 2 points, behind Toro Rosso. In 2010 they are 2nd to Ferrari, and though they are 14 points behind, they have closed the gap – thanks in large part to Jenson Button’s victory. With the way the points system has changed it’s not inconceivable to think that McLaren could be heading the Constructors’ Championship after this coming weekend’s race in Malaysia.

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Filed under Australian, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Year on Year Comparisons

McLaren: Year on Year Comparison – Race 1, Bahrain 2010

This year I am going to have to look at things from two different aspects – with the 2009 points system and the 2010 points system. The drivers are also different – while Lewis Hamilton has stayed, Heikki Kovalainen has been replaced by 2009 World Champion Jenson Button. So, without further ado let’s take a look at the two sets of data.

2009 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 0 0 0 TOTAL 6 2 8
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 6 2 8

 
 

2010 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 0 0 0 TOTAL 15 6 21
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 15 6 21

 

Granted, with the disqualification of Lewis Hamilton in Australia last year and Heikki Kovalainen not managing to complete his first lap it wasn’t going to be hard for McLaren to improve on last year’s start, and that they did. At this point last year both McLaren and the drivers were on zero points, and not looking like progress was going to be made fast. This year, while there is still some work to do to match the speed around corners of the other teams, their straight line speed thanks to their summer innovation is at the top of the pile, so these comparison posts should look very rosey as the season progresses.

We have to remember that while it’s nice to improve from one season to the next,we have to be realistic and realise that in the case of McLaren that’s not a sign of huge achievement. As long as they keep up with the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull then this is going to be a very good season indeed.

As it’s only the first race and there wasn’t a great deal to talk about I’m going to leave with you a rare photo from Bahrain that captured both McLaren cars.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=mclaren&iid=8249648″ src=”3/f/c/a/F1_Grand_Prix_d6dd.jpg?adImageId=11310045&imageId=8249648″ width=”500″ height=”295″ /]
 

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Filed under Bahrain, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Year on Year Comparisons

Volatile Racing becomes the 2010 Fantasy Racing Entry

If you listen to Sidepodcast or visit the website you’ll know of the Fantasy Racing league they create each season over at fantasyracers.com. Last year I did really badly, in fact I never went back to see my final position. The 2010 league has been set up, in fact it’s been there for about a month and details can be found here.

I’ve just entered my team: Volatile Racing – inspired by this post and this stunning photo:

Really NOT a McLaren MP4-25

When it comes to any kind of fantasy league I’m lazy, so I like the option to choose my team now and leave them untouched for the whole season, it’s what I did last season anyway! My team looks like this:

Volatile Racing

Lewis Hamilton is a given, no matter how expensive, he’s my favourite driver at my favourite team. Because of how it all works into a budget of £45 million I had to choose a £12 million driver as my second driver, unless I chose both HRT drivers which is just a no no. Given the choice of Schumacher, Weber and Rosberg I went with Weber – I trust Red Bull to perform more than Mercedes. Kovalainen I chose out of some kind of strange loyalty due to his 2 years at McLaren, that and I think he’ll do well in the right team, which I believe Lotus is. Afraid to say Glock and Senna were just using up the budget!

So, enter yourself, and whether you enter now or already have, come back and leave a comment telling me who your team is, and your drivers…if you dare!

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Lewis Hamilton tests the McLaren MP4-25 on day 3 in Jerez

After the first 2 days of testing, which saw Jenson Button at the wheel of his MP4-25, day 3 in Jerez saw of 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton out on the track. First the times (courtesy of Formula1.com), then the explanation.

1. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 1:19.919, 76 Laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber, 1:20.736, 58 Laps
3. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:21.428, 48 Laps
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.603, 72 Laps
5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:21.783, 59 Laps
6. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:22.000, 68 Laps
7. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:22.820, 53 Laps
8. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:23.217, 120 Laps
9. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:23.985, 68 Laps
10. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin, 1:37.107, 8 Laps

Now, before you panic and think it’s all going pear shaped like this time last year, there is a reason for the slow time, in comparison to the other drivers:

With wet weather forecast to hit the circuit today, the test team had specifically devised a run programme to make best use of the day. The only dry running of the day took place in the morning, which the team used to undertake a number of aero mapping runs. Conducted at lower speeds, the only dry times of the day were therefore not representative of the team’s overall pace. As the rain started falling, focus shifted towards evaluating Bridgestone’s wet and intermediate compounds.

You can read the rest of the report from McLaren over at McLaren.com. So, not quite the disaster it looked like at first glance. As you can see from the following photo, it got pretty wet out on the track yesterday:

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=hamilton+jerez&iid=7896594″ src=”3/7/b/5/Sports_News_5bf3.jpg?adImageId=10232368&imageId=7896594″ width=”500″ height=”338″ /]
 
The next photo, taken during the small window of dry weather, shows Lewis Hamilton being followed by Felipe Massa – get used to that Felipe ;o)

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=hamilton+jerez&iid=7891638″ src=”0/5/7/8/Formula_One_064a.jpg?adImageId=10232370&imageId=7891638″ width=”500″ height=”345″ /]
 
Interesting to see the sponsorship of Santander on the Ferrari with the addition of white to the traditionally all red livery. Lewis is out in Jerez testing again today, let’s hope the weather is better than yesterday so he can a good few laps of dry running completed.

On a side note, Hamilton’s McLaren team mate of 2008 and 2009, Heikki Kovalianen, was at the launch of his new car as part of the Lotus Racing team. Here he he is with the brand new Lotus T127, with team mate Jarno Trulli, at yesterday’s launch in London:

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=kovalainen+lotus&iid=7896661″ src=”3/e/b/8/Lotus_F1_launch_5d67.jpg?adImageId=10232378&imageId=7896661″ width=”500″ height=”327″ /]
 
Best of luck at the new team Heikki, hope it goes well – though not too well!

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Filed under Constructors, Drivers, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Lotus Racing, McLaren, Testing

McLaren in the News – 16th December 2009

A Profile and Interview of new Lotus Driver – Heikki Kovalainen @ The Sports Campus F1
Tuesday 15th November
28-year old Finn Heikki Kovalainen was this Monday appointed to the Lotus F1 Racing team for the 2010 season alongside Italian Jarno Trulli and Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy.

Heikki started his motor racing career karting in the early 1990’s. His first recognition came with second place in the Finnish Formula A Championship in 1999 and 2000. That year also saw Heikki add the Scandinavian Championship and the Elf Masters, held at Paris Bercy, to his achievements, earning him title of Karting Driver of the Year in his native Finland. Heikki’s success saw him move up to the British Formula Renault Championship in 2001, bringing two wins, two poles and three fastest laps, enough to give him fourth place in the Championship, plus the 2001 Finnish Automobile Sports Federation “Rookie of the Year” award. That same year, Heikki made his F3 debut at the world renowned Macau Grand Prix, finishing 8th. In 2002 Heikki moved on to compete in the British F3 Championship, scoring an impressive five wins, three poles and three fastest laps, securing his third position in drivers’ standings. He was once again given the “Rookie of the Year” award, and won the prestigious F3 support race at the British Grand Prix. He capped an impressive year by finishing second in Macau and fourth at the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort. (read more…)

I will not settle for being second best: Jenson Button @ DNA Sport
Tuesday 15th November
London: Reigning Formula One world champion Jenson Button has warned former champion and McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton that he will not settle for being second best in the team.

Button’s comment came after he finished runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality awards, where he was the favourite, but lost out to Manchester United star Ryan Giggs.

“Any sportsman does not like coming second, but Ryan is the best man I could have lost to,” The Sun quoted Button, as saying. “I’m looking forward to working with Lewis. We will work together to build a good car but, on circuit, we will be fierce rivals. That’s the way it is,” he added. (read more…)

Mosley speaks out on ‘spygate’ @ Yahoo! F1
Monday 14th November
Max Mosley, the former president of the FIA, has spoken out about the way in which he handed the ‘spygate’ saga which affected the 2007 F1 season – and the proposed breakaway from earlier this year.
Mosley, who has now been replaced by Jean Todt as the head of motorsport’s governing body, spoke at length in an article published by Britain’s Sunday Telegraph in which he discussed the two scandals – which revealed how he had wanted to ban McLaren for its involvement in ‘spygate’ and how he remains convinced that his proposed budget cap for F1 was the correct idea to take the sport forwards…
“On July 3, 2007 I got a call from Ron Dennis, the boss of the McLaren Formula One team, to say that at 7.30 that morning, lawyers acting for Ferrari had raided the home of Mike Coughlan, McLaren’s chief designer, and recovered CDs which were believed to contain the entire technical details of the current Ferrari Formula One car. “Spygate” had begun,” he wrote. (read more…)

Whitmarsh to become FOTA chairman @ Aurosport.com
Thursday 10th November
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has been voted in as Luca di Montezemolo’s successor as the chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), AUTOSPORT can reveal.

Following a meeting of the Formula 1 Commission in Monaco on Thursday, team principals then got together for a FOTA gathering to discuss plans for next year – which included the election of new senior officials.

Sources have confirmed that Whitmarsh was ratified as the new chairman, and he will take over the mandate from di Montezemolo whose one-year term ends later this month. (read more…)

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Filed under Constructors, Drivers, Heikki Kovalainen, In the news..., Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren