ew Renault racer Heikki Kovalainen has predicted that the proposed Bridgestone control tyre for 2007 will change the F1 field’s style of driving.
At the 2006 championship-winning squad’s first test without Michelin rubber, at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain this week, Renault runners – including the rookie Finn – have so far not troubled the top of the times.
Kovalainen, 25, told adrivo.com that his Bridgestone-shod ‘R26′ currently lacks a good balance.
“It is difficult at the moment to drive a quick lap time,” the Finn admitted.
Kovalainen, replacing the McLaren bound Fernando Alonso for next year, reported that he is up to six seconds slower at Barcelona than when he last tested at the northern Spanish circuit with Michelin tyres.
He continued: “With these tyres you cannot drive aggressively. I am braking much more carefully and I am trying not to spin the wheels out of the corners.
“It is my belief that these tyres will change the style of driving a lot.”
Meanwhile, after his 2007 teammate Giancarlo Fisichella announced his plans to conquer the drivers’ championship next year, Kovalainen said he would not attack his first season with that objective.
Indeed, the rookie Finn nominated ‘Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa’ as favourites to lift the crown for Ferrari.
“Also (Fernando) Alonso (can win),” Heikki added insisted, “if McLaren give him a good car.
“However, I see the favourite as Raikkonen.”