Formula 1 Driver Details

Heikki Kovalainen

Data and Statistics

Date of Birth October 17, 1981 Championships 7 (0 Won)
Place of Birth Suomussalmi, FIN Grand Prix 112 (1 Won)
Nationality FIN Podiums 4
Weight/Height 66 kg / 172 cm Poles 1
First GP March 19, 2007 Fastest Laps 1
Last GP November 24, 2013 Highest Position 1 (x1)
Constructors Renault, McLaren, Caterham, Lotus F1 Team Highest Pole 1 (x1)
Pole
Position
Race
Position
Race
Points
Year/Team1234567891011121314151617181920PtsPos
2013
Lotus F1 Team
USA
0158
BRA
01411
021
2012
Caterham F1 Team
AUS
0LAP18
MYS
01824
CHN
02318
BHR
01716
ESP
01619
MCO
01317
CAN
01817
EUR
01416
GBR
01719
DEU
01916
HUN
01719
BEL
01718
ITA
01417
SGP
01519
JPN
01517
KOR
01719
IND
01820
ARE
01318
USA
01822
BRA
01420
022
2011
Team Lotus
AUS
0RET19
MYS
01519
CHN
01619
TUR
01918
ESP
0RET15
MCO
01417
CAN
0RET20
EUR
01919
GBR
0RET17
DEU
01618
HUN
0DNF18
BEL
01516
ITA
01320
SGP
01619
JPN
01818
KOR
01419
IND
01418
ARE
01717
BRA
01619
022
2010
Team Lotus
BHR
01521
AUS
01319
MYS
0RET15
CHN
01421
ESP
0RET20
MCO
0RET18
TUR
0RET20
CAN
01619
EUR
0RET20
GBR
01718
DEU
0RET18
HUN
01419
BEL
01613
ITA
01818
SGP
01619
JPN
01220
KOR
01321
BRA
01820
ARE
01720
020
2009
McLaren-Mercedes
AUS
0RET12
MYS
0RET14
CHN
4512
BHR
01211
ESP
0RET18
MCO
0RET7
TUR
01414
GBR
0RET13
DEU
186
HUN
456
EUR
542
BEL
3615
ITA
364
SGP
278
JPN
01111
BRA
01216
ARE
01118
2212
2008
McLaren-Mercedes
AUS
453
MYS
638
BHR
455
ESP
0RET6
TUR
0122
MCO
184
CAN
097
FRA
5410
GBR
451
DEU
453
HUN
1012
EUR
545
BEL
0103
ITA
822
SGP
0105
JPN
0RET3
CHN
0RET5
BRA
275
537
2007
Renault
AUS
01013
MYS
1811
BHR
0912
ESP
278
MCO
01315
CAN
5422
USA
456
FRA
0156
GBR
276
EUR
187
HUN
1811
TUR
367
ITA
277
BEL
189
JPN
8211
CHN
0913
BRA
0RET17
307
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Driver Bio

Heikki Kovalainen was born in Finland in 1981 and has been a Formula 1 driver since 2007. In his career, the Finn has raced for Renault, McLaren, and since 2010, Lotus Racing, now known as F1 Caterham.

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Kovalainen started his career in karting in 1991 and competed in that category until 2000. He won the Finnish Formula A Championship in 1999 and the Nordic countries in 2000, when he also was named "Finn of the year."

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landed in Formula Renault in 2001 following the departure of reigning champion and countryman Raikkonen who made the jump to Formula 1. His debut in the category was not at all remarkable but finished fourth with two wins, two poles and three fastest laps, for which he won the Rookie of the Year award.

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After taking all appropriate steps by competing Formula 3 and GP2, Kovalainen was hired in 2006 by Renaultas test driver. In that year, the team spectacularly snatched Ferrari’s championship in the last two races, but the crown holder, Fernando Alonso, decided to depart and left for McLaren. This opened an opportunity, and Flavio Briatore promoted Heikki for 2007 season as an official driver. Giancarlo Fisichella was his teammate.

His first tournament as a driver did not fill the expectations around him. Even in his first race in Australia the Finn made several basic errors so its tenth place was not warmly welcomed by management. The season continued, and in spite of the lack of competitiveness on the Renault machine, Heikki got his first podium finish with a second in the Japanese GP.

In 2008, after a year full of controversy in McLarenFernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen swapped seats, making the young Finn a teammate of Lewis Hamilton, the new star for the British outfit.

In his first season with McLaren, he has to live under the shadow of Hamilton –no doubt faster- finishing the tournament in seventh place, but accomplishing his first and only victory (so far) in Formula 1, in the Hungarian GP.

However, Kovalainen does not escape controversy, as he often highlighted the preference in his team for Hamilton, relegating the Finn to a secondary role. It followed the forgettable 2009 year, in which his best position was 4th (once), and finishing 12th in the standings with 22 points.

Kovalainen had not seat until the nascent team of Lotus named him its driver. The proposal was clear and the team, although new, looked like a serious project, and with financial stability for a long term plan.

The 2010 season marked the entrance of a new batch of teams: Lotus, Hispania Racing and Virgin. All of them had to start their operations from the scratch. In that first year, Heikki managed to finish 15 of the 19 races of the year, and although no points were added to the Lotus count the team by far outperformed Virgin and Hispania Racing, an achievement nevertheless. A 12th place in the GP of Japan was the best result. Kovalainen experience and good demeanor are key elements in the team’s development.

The 2011 season continued with similar results among the three teams, with Lotus in the lead, but getting closer to the middle of the pack scuderias. His best position was 13th in Italy, but it is more important to highlight the notable improvement in the car performance.

By 2012, his team is renamed Caterham F1, and Heikki will now team up with Vitaly Petrov, in a year that definitely looks promising for his young team.

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