Kovalainen Pleased with Strong Win

Heikki Kovalainen was pleased to have taken a strong win in race one at Magny Cours, after taking the lead at the start and then making the most of his rivals' mistakes. It was the Finn's his third win of the series

Kovalainen Pleased with Strong Win

Kovalainen started from fourth on the grid, but an impressive start put the Finn in the lead by the first corner. "The start was obviously the key," He said. "I managed to get a really good start and it was close with Premat, but I was on the inside and I thought I don't need to give him and room - and actually he wasn't giving me any room!

"We did touch a little bit - my steering was a little bent as a result - so for all of the race my steering was a bit to the left! But I think the most important thing was the reaction was very, very good - I managed to just go when the lights went, and I could see that the others were just a few hundredths of a second slower."

Kovalainen led the pack around the circuit and looked strong throughout. On lap 16, Olivier Pla spun his car, bringing out the safety car, and the Finn knew what to do.

"I made the first call - I saw the safety car signs very early on the lap and I don't know if it was already there on track, but I gave them a call and said 'there's a safety car - what should we do?' And Mick [Cook - Arden chief engineer] said we're going to pit now, and I was very surprised to the other guys didn't follow me!

"It was that sort of window where we were already looking for a pitstop to happen at any moment, and for us we didn't have to hurry because we were able to look behind when they were going to pit - Premat and Lopez and the other guys - so I think that even without the pace car we would have been able to take the lead comfortably back.

Alex Premat and Nico Rosberg did not take advantage of the safety car to fulfill their pitstop obligation, and Kovalainen slotted back on track just behind the pair: "It was surprising when I returned to the track and I rejoined just behind them.

"I thought 'this is going to be great', because for sure they were not going to be able to pull away by half a minute in any circumstances."

With the knowledge that the ART pair still had to make pitstops Kovalainen was able to drive within himself and wait for them to peel off track in front of him: "I was not quite cruising because the steering was bent, so that affected me a little bit and it's better not to cruise because then you can make mistakes.

"But I tried to keep a reasonable rhythm and not do anything crazy - it was all under control. I knew all I had to do was keep a little bit of a gap to Lopez.

The result gave the Finn a clear 15 point advantage in the Championship, but he denied that this was a factor in his thinking at this stage: "I haven't even looked at the table because it's too early to think about it too much.

"The main thing really is to just go for the win until a few races from the end, and then you need to look at it and say 'okay, what do I need to do?' I think that's the best."

shares
comments
Kovalainen Grabs Comfortable Win

Previous article

Kovalainen Grabs Comfortable Win

Next article

Rosberg Annihilates Rivals in France

Rosberg Annihilates Rivals in France
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Author David Cameron
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019
Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series Plus

Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series

After the MotoGP-style Formula 1 support ladder was fully united for 2019, Bruno Michel and Ross Brawn share their views on the current state of Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 and explain why investment at junior levels should boost the top tier

FIA F2
Dec 13, 2019