Heikki Kovalainen will race for McLaren in 2008 F1 season. The expected straight swap Alonso to Renault Heikki to McLaren has happened. This means McLaren will enter the 2008 season with 2 young guns. The experienced Pedro de la Rosa will have to accept the 3rd driver role again.
Here is the first official photo of Heikki Kovalainen in McLaren Mercedes team:
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes:
“We had a number of options open to us and as always we want to make sure that we have the most competitive driver line-up and I think that Lewis and Heikki will be a formidable combination. Both enjoyed great rookie seasons in 2007 and share a genuine passion for winning and being the best. Heikki made a strong impression and Lewis’ performance so far has been outstanding and speaks for itself. I am confident that they will push each other on track and work well together off track. In addition with Pedro remaining our primary test driver alongside Gary, we really have a strong package and look forward to 2008.”
“I am so excited to join a team like Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. So far I have been blown away by the dedication and commitment to winning which is clear through the entire organisation and I am really excited about our joint future. As a Finn it’s an honour for me to follow in Mika and Kimi’s footsteps. I haven’t really spent a lot of time with Lewis so far but from what I know I think we will work well together and do our best for the team.”
“As soon as the chequered flag went in Brazil I began to count down the days until Australia. I am really looking forward to 2008 and working with Heikki as my teammate. Together with the team we will do everything we can to ensure that our Championship challenge is as strong and focused as possible. My first year in Formula One was incredible and I was so fortunate to spend it with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and I hope that Heikki will enjoy his first year with the team as much as I did mine.”
The 2008 Formula 1 grid is almost finalized. Only Force India and Super Aguri are yet to confirmed their 2008 driver line up.