Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen
|By David Cameron||Thursday, September 29th 2005, 15:31 GMT|
Q. Were you a little unlucky today?
Heikki Kovalainen: Not unlucky – that was as good as it gets today, to be honest. I was on the limit everywhere and really trying to push, but I couldn't match their pace. We took a gamble with the strategy to try and get past through the pits but I wasn't able to lap quick enough, and that was it really.
Q. How difficult was the race for you?
Kovalainen: It was difficult all the way – it was a big, big battle with the car. I was struggling with overall grip, and the tyres were knackered later and that didn't help either. Once again they were stronger than we were, and this time they didn't make any mistakes or have any problems at the start, and therefore they deserved to win - congratulations to Nico for a job well done.
Q. You went for the Hail Mary pitstop again, which has worked in the past but not today. Who made the call on that?
Kovalainen: It was my engineers call – I was a little bit surprised because we were not planning to do that, because the safety car was in, but we took a gamble and if I had been able to lap quick enough it might have worked. I think at the end it didn't change the result too much, whether we stopped very early or very late – we still would have finished third because the gap behind was massive. They were just stronger than us today.
Q. Did you think that the safety car was staying out for another lap, and that was why the call was made?
Kovalainen: I asked on the radio when the safety car lights went out, and I thought we were going to stay out, but they said no, we'll do the pitstop now, and I didn't know what they were going to do. He [Nico] obviously carried on, and for him it didn't make any difference at the end.
Q. You lost out not only to Rosberg, but also to Premat – how hard was it following him?
Kovalainen: It was impossible to follow – when he was behind me I tried to hold him up for a little while, to try to make him outbrake himself, and I tried to defend, but he was just all over me. He went past and I tried to defend, but I knew it was finished for me so I let him pass so maybe he could catch Rosberg and maybe they could fight, but I had no chance to follow him.
Q. There was a moment at the end where there was a bit of smoke coming from Premat's car – did you think this gave you a chance to come back?
Kovalainen: I could smell something was burning, and I could see the smoke and I thought maybe there was an opportunity, but he was still lapping quicker than I was so obviously it wasn't a big problem, and I wasn't able to catch him.
Q. Second in the championship at the end of the year – what does that mean for you?
Kovalainen: It's very disappointing of course – I was looking for the win, so second place doesn't mean a lot to me, but I've learnt a lot and it's been a competitive championship. I've got five victories, and they've all been very good moments, so I know how to win races and fight with the car and be on the edge all the time, so from that point of view there are some positive things as well, although at the moment I don't feel great about them.
Q. What does the future hold for you?
Kovalainen: I don't know – hopefully something in Formula One, because that's what I want to do, but I don't know. We'll have to wait and see – Renault told me that we'll start talking after this weekend and see where we are, and I haven't actually thought about it too much and wanted to wait until the season is over. Maybe we'll get some news later on.