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Heikki Kovalainen column

Formula One
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Heikki Kovalainen's latest column for BBC Sport reviews the season and looks forward to 2008.

The Renault Formula One driver gives his thoughts on the conclusion to the world championship, expresses his dissatisfaction with his impressive debut season, and discusses his future, and whether it will be with Renault or elsewhere.

Read the column here news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/mot... and let us know what you think.

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posted May 15, 2007

great race shame about the faulty fuel rigs

I think Renault could be challenging BMW soon judging by your race pace

Heikki out of all the up and coming drivers you have raced in previous formulae

Hamilton
Rosberg
Sutil
Kubica

who's been the toughest opponent you've raced against

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posted May 15, 2007


Great article! Also enjoyed the ITV interview. I'm sure we'll see Heikki on the podium very soon and look forward to reading about it in this column. Well done Heikki!

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posted May 15, 2007

What a great read !

I have to say, to be a F1 driver you have to be supremely confident, especially at the start. By the sounds of it, you are not only confident but extremely competent.

A great insight into what happens in a F1 race from a drivers perspective.

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comment by Atreiu (U8375041)

posted May 15, 2007

He gives great importance to concentration. And in qualifying, is it all on automatic or does he try to stay as on and alert as possible??

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comment by AJP6191 (U8356687)

posted May 16, 2007

Heikki is a great driver, just a poor car, swap him with Hamilton on some of the European tracks and he'll be on the podium consistently

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posted May 16, 2007

Great article!! Really hoping that Heikki's car will reach the same level as it's driver. And thanks for showing everyone that all Finnish drivers aren't like Räikkönen - some can obviously write and think=))

Go Heikki!

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posted May 16, 2007

Yes, great article. I'm a bit confused though. You say you drive slowly back to the pits after the race for the weigh in.
But when the BAR-Honda's were disqualified (Imola 05?) it was because they were underweight when emptied. So are they weighed with fuel in after the race?
Have the rules changed or is the requirement after the race different to the requirement before?
Also, how do you assess weight loss during a race. Three kilos from a man such as yourself is quite a lot I would have thought, does you car have to go to the grid 3 kilos heavier?

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posted May 16, 2007

Sorry, I meant to say say, "thanks for your article, good luck to you and the Renault team in Monaco" but clicked the mouse too quick!

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posted May 18, 2007

Hi everyone,

I contacted Renault for a comprehensive answer to Sloop John B's question on the subject of the weight, and this is it:

"The question basically boils down to 'do we run so close to the weight limit that we are underweight during the race' and the answer is obviously no - the car is legal at all times.

"The rules have not changed - apart from the fact that in 2005, the minimum weight was 605 kg in qually and 600 kg at end of race, and is now 605 kg at all times.

"The car weight is indeed empty of fuel, but including the driver, ref: Arts 1.9 and 4.1 of Technical Regs:

"1.9 Weight: Is the weight of the car with the driver, wearing his complete racing apparel, at all times during the event.

"4.1 Minimum weight: The weight of the car must not be less than 605 kg at all times during the Event.

"When we calculate our fuel loads, we do so on the basis of the fuel that will be consumed per lap. At racing speeds, let’s say this is 3kg per lap, but on the slowing down lap, it will be only 1kg.

"Therefore, it means for a 20-lap stint at the end of the race we only need to put 61kg in the car, rather than 63kg – and this will mean the car is quicker throughout the stint to the tune of around 0.06s per lap (when 10kg represents a 0.3s deficit per lap). Over a 20-lap stint, that represents 1.2s – a potentially critical margin.

"Driver weight also forms part of the 605kg minimum. The drivers are weighed throughout the weekend by the FIA, and random checks can be made to ensure their body mass is consistent.

"This means that when they are weighed at the end of the race, their weight loss can be evaluated as "normal". Equally, weighing at the end of the race ensures no false weights were given during earlier weighings by using ballasted equipment (helmet, HANS device etc...).

"However, this weight loss (3kg in the example mentioned) must be accounted for when the engineers calculate the car weight at the end of the race – it cannot be used an excuse for a car running underweight."

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posted May 18, 2007

Thank you for the clarification. Not much margin there ... and yet, I can't remember when was the last time someone got DQ'd because they were underweight by an honest mistake.

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