Heikki wants equality with Hamilton - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Heikki wants equality with Hamilton

Heikki wants equality with Hamilton
Eurosport - Wed, 03 Dec 12:21:00 2008

Heikki Kovalainen has said he wants a new fuel strategy from McLaren in 2009 to give him the same chance of success as world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Kovalainen said that the team was keen for him to run a heavier fuel load in the final phase of qualifying at each meeting to allow an alternative strategy for success, should the option for Hamilton be compromised.

As a result, the Finn finished the season back in seventh place in the points table and some 45 points shy of Hamilton's title-winning total.

"Only once was I lighter on fuel than Lewis, and that was at Silverstone, where I was on pole," the 27-year old driver pointed out to Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell magazine.

"In all other qualifying sessions, I was fuelled more heavily - often the heaviest guy in the top six or seven. If I had been at the front more often, then I would have won more frequently."

Kovalainen managed only three podium finishes all season and was unable to help push McLaren into top spot in the constructors' championship.

While that created doubt about his position at Woking in the mind of outsiders, he said he was not under threat of losing his seat for 2009 - and warned that he will be looking for a change of direction.

"The team knew exactly what was taking place," he said. "It's something we have to look at for the coming year."

Kovalainen will return to the track when group testing restarts in Spain later this month. He is slated to run at both Jerez and the new Portimao circuit in Portugal before the end of the year, while Hamilton is not due to return to the cockpit until early January.

The new McLaren will be unveiled on January 16 in Woking.

Crash.Net / Eurosport
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