Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen believes he'd do a better job at a top team now than when he left McLaren

Heikki Kovalainen is convinced he would be a stronger and better driver for a top team like Ferrari or McLaren than the last time he was in frontrunning machinery

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen believes he'd do a better job at a top team now than when he left McLaren

The Finn has been linked to both outfits in recent weeks as they consider potential replacements in the event that there is a shake-up in the driver market.

Although Kovalainen was dropped by McLaren after a disappointing 2009 campaign, the Finn feels that he is a much improved prospect now after learning lessons from where he went wrong.

"I have full confidence in myself now, that wherever I was - regardless of the environment - I am a much stronger and a much tougher driver - and I can handle the situation better," the Caterham driver told AUTOSPORT.

"Wherever I was, I would be able to do a better job than in the past and deliver good performances regularly.

"I have learned over these last couple of years where I went wrong and I have corrected these areas - and that is why I am not concerned that where I will be will be a problem."

Although being linked with frontrunning teams, Kovalainen has begun talks with his current bosses about a fresh deal at Caterham as it puts together its plans for moving forward.

His team-mate Vitaly Petrov is likely to be replaced at the end of the campaign, with Marussia's Charles Pic in pole position to join the Leafield-based outfit. Bruno Senna and Jaime Alguersuari have also been linked with the seat.

Kovalainen admits that the current season has been a disappointment, but says he will stay if the outfit can convince him it has what it takes to move forwards.

"I want to make progress and I don't just want to be somewhere and not make progress," he said.

"Certainly what we have been able to build here, there are a lot of valuable things that are not easy to build in a new environment. So it is not that straightforward a decision."

Team prinicipal Tony Fernandes said in Singapore that he hoped to make progress on Kovalainen's contract - and played down talk of a dispute with the Finn's management group, prompted by comments made on Finnish television.

"It is quite possible that what has been going on over the last couple of days has not helped him on track," Fernandes said.

"But I am pleased to say that discussions are going very well and we are aiming to make positive statements about that in the next few weeks."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren , Caterham F1
Author Jonathan Noble
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