Kovalainen To McLaren

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:

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, photo Daimler Media

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.”

Heikki Kovalainen:

“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.”

Lewis Hamilton:

“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.

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    Finally…I hope Heiki will accept the no.2 position. Otherwise we’ll have the same fiasco repeating. I hope they can grab the championship next season.

  2. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Kovalainen made it clear that he does not want to go into the season knowing he can’t fight for the title. So I don’t think he will happily accept no 2 role.

    But, I think he will be a team player, similar to Massa in Ferrari this year.

  3. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    Thats a good move for both parties i think. Looking forward to seeing Hamilton and Kovalainen next year

  4. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    I hope they can really compete as a team, not against each other :) Let’s keep our finger crossed!

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    I would still like know how much say in this selection did Hamilton have. The rumours were circulation that he lobbied for Kovalainen to be signed up but as often happens these could have been only media made rumours …

  6. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    Hamilton said on Top Gear that he would much rather have a competitive team mate as he finds it drives him on and pushes him harder. Not sure how much say he would have had on driver selection though?

  7. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    I think that after what happened in McLaren in 2007, the teams withe start drivers on board will at least consult them before signing somebody …

  8. [...] so far this season. Possible, but is that the root of the problem ? Or does it go back to December 14, 2007 when McLaren confirmed Heikki Kovalainen as their 2008 driver [...]

  9. [...] was Nico Rosberg. Only after it became clear that the young German will continue with Williams did McLaren confirm Heikki Kovalainen as their 2008 race driver. He was the obvious choice, but probably not the first [...]

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