Heikki vows to make a mark at Hamilton’s team

Fri, 25 January 2008, 12:01

Heikki Kovalainen has vowed to make a mark at McLaren despite acknowledging that he is the team’s new boy.

To the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the 26-year-old admitted that, in filling Fernando Alonso’s recently departed shoes, teammate Lewis Hamilton undoubtedly occupies the high ground.

“I need to take it over and make it mine, don’t I?” he smiled.

Kovalainen suggests that he is not likely to suffer the same fate as his Spanish predecessor at Ron Dennis’ team, however, also because he is happy to accept his fledgling status in the sport.

“I don’t know what went wrong last year,” he said.

“I think I can bring things to this team. And I can learn a lot. I can’t see myself getting into trouble politically. It’s not my business. I’m not interested too much in that side of things.”

Kovalainen, who on Thursday outpaced Hamilton for the second consecutive day at the Valencia test, also admits that – in contrast to his British teammate’s stellar impact on formula one – his rookie season with Renault was far from perfect.

“I learned a lot from last year. I got a kick in the butt to raise my game. It was important to work with the team to understand why I was slow.

“My goal is to win the world championship. I believe I can beat Lewis. The team guarantees me the same car, so I have a chance. I just need to make it work.

“Lewis almost won the championship last year. He gets a lot of attention. He is the superstar. What can I do? I need to make my own mark.

“If I win the championship then this time next year people will be more interested in me,” Kovalainen said.

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