Kovalainen overcoming tyre problems

Heikki Kovalainen is confident he is getting on top of the tyre management issues that have cost him pace in races so far this year

Kovalainen overcoming tyre problems

The Finn is having trouble maintaining the consistency of his rubber over stints in the races, and has been working with his McLaren team to improve the situation.

And although he does not feel that he is totally on top of the issue, he thinks big progress has been made.

"We worked over the last few months with it and we've changed the car as well - it's very difficult to change the driving style and there's no need to change driving style radically," explained Kovalainen. "It's just adapting the car, finding the sweet spot and adapting the car as well.

"We are getting closer to it and on some occasions we have been very happy with it. We need to keep working on it and that's the only way to improve it."

Kovalainen says that although there are only small differences in the driving style between himself and Hamilton, he thinks it is enough to make an impact in performance.

"It think it's the small detail of the driving and how you enter the corners and how you hit the brakes and how you go on the power. I'm sometimes cornering longer than Lewis - he turns the car in a shorter time whereas I'm trying to make the corners more round. It's harder on the tyres - it's a fact I need to work on."

He added: "It's quite tricky for myself this year. I've found a few times that they are very good and the stints are very strong, but then if I don't get the tyres exactly like I want it can ruin the whole stint and I lose a lot of time.

"Generally I haven't had a problem in qualifying but that's probably more characteristic of our car. But we are working at it. I can't talk for the other teams and drivers but certainly for myself we are getting on top of the reasons why I am harder on the tyres and we're working on it. Eventually we will get there."

shares
comments
Vettel to test for Red Bull this month

Previous article

Vettel to test for Red Bull this month

Next article

Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen

Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021