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."

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Kovalainen Grabs Comfortable Win
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