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Kovalainen targets podium at Monza

Heikki KovalainenHeikki Kovalainen is positive of a strong result at the Italian Grand Prix, where the Finn is aiming to score his first podium of the season.

"I have a positive feeling about this race," Kovalainen, who finished second behind Sebastian Vettel at Monza last year, said ahead of Friday practice.

"Last year, I was trying to win and after qualifying we were in as strong position. I felt that for the race we had a strong opportunity to fight for victory but Sebastian was stronger.

"I've always liked this circuit, I had a good time here in GP2 and I did a lot of testing here for Renault. It's a different type of circuit; low downforce, the car moves around, it's high-speed so you need to get used to the different feeling.

"I'm looking forward to it, but this year you just don't know what is going to happen."

When asked if a podium finish was possible, he said: "That has to be our target. You have to target the best result - so pole position and victory is always our target. But let's see how we get on in practice."

The McLaren driver admitted having KERS this weekend will be an advantage, but he feels it is not such a crucial element compared to the aero package.

"It helps the most here out of any circuits," he said. "In theory we get the biggest benefit because there are quite a lot of low-speed corners leading onto long straights. When you use the KERS you can keep the advantage for quite a long time on the straights before the speed levels off.

"It helps, but I think it's still the aero package and efficiency on every other car is going to be crucial. If we don't have strong efficiency or enough straightline speed to the downforce we have it's going to be difficult.

"The KERS has helped us in every circuit apart from Silverstone this year and it's going to be the same here."

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Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen