Heikki gets ‘little praise’ in Briatore meeting

Wed, 21 March 2007, 05:15

Heikki Kovalainen met privately with Renault boss Flavio Briatore after his disastrous formula one debut in Melbourne last Sunday.

Referring to the meeting, the beleaguered 25-year-old Finn revealed: “There was little praise.”

Briatore, who is understood to have told Kovalainen that Renault will not tolerate many Melbourne-style results, was also publicly critical of his performance, where a lack of pace and a raft of driving errors left him a lap down and tenth.

Heikki, who denied that the pressure of the occasion had got to him, said: “It was one of the biggest disappointments of my life.”

He did receive some public backing, however, with Pat Symonds saying “most” rookies have an error-strewn first grand prix.

Team president Alain Dassas also said: “We can’t take it out on him. He’s a young driver and he was under heavy pressure.

“He’s got a long way to go but I’m sure he’ll get there.”

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