Kovalainen feels stronger than last year

Heikki Kovalainen feels he is driving better than last year, and he reckons he has been a good match for McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Kovalainen feels stronger than last year

"I think so, yeah," he said when asked if he was performing at the same level as Hamilton.

"I think in the last few races the performance has been really strong, but there's been incidents every time slowing me down at various points in the races.

"But I think the performance is good enough. It can always be better and Lewis is a tough team-mate, but I have no problems and I'm never worried about having a tough team-mate. It's always good and when I manage to beat him I'm normally very near to the top of the grid."

He added: "My performance has been relatively good compared to last year. I'm driving better than last year. My performance compared to Lewis has been stronger than last year, but unfortunately you don't see it when you are driving in 14th."

The Finn has a fourth place as his best result this season, but has scored points in the last five races.

Kovalainen conceded he was disappointed with his performance at the Italian Grand Prix, where he expected to fight for victory after a strong qualifying.

"I think in Monza the result could have been better," he said. "I think it was quite clear that the beginning of the race was a disaster for me. In the first two, three laps I lost the whole race, and I struggled to get the tyres going so I think it was probably the wrong decision.

"But it happens. It was partly my decision. I thought it was the right thing to do and I was convinced I would be fighting for victory.

"The qualifying has always been good and I think the race performance in Valencia, apart from the last stint and both stints at Spa, were very strong. So I'm pleased about the performance and of course I want to win a race this year, that's my target and we try to do this again this weekend again."

The McLaren driver, who was managed by former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, admitted he had been surprised by the scandal involving the French team.

"Everybody has been surprised about the whole scandal. I don't think it's very normal to have these kind of incidents in Formula 1. I think it's unusual. In my opinion Formula 1 is still a fair sport and if you do something bad you will always be caught. "

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Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen

Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen
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