Kovalainen does not want to be Alonso’s no.2

Fri, 9 November 2007, 11:21

Heikki Kovalainen says he would enjoy having Fernando Alonso as a Renault teammate next year but only if he enjoys equal status with the double world champion.

“If the team can guarantee that we are equal, it would be perfect for me to have Fernando beside me,” the Finn told the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Alonso won world championships in 2005 and 2006 at Renault and then switched to McLaren.

But after one season with Ron Dennis’ team, the 26-year-old Spaniard is back on the market having spent an uncomfortable year alongside rookie Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso has said he expects to be properly treated by his team as a multiple world champion, and Renault chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds agree that modern formula one requires a ‘number one’ role to be clearly defined.

Kovalainen, linked with a move to McLaren to replace Alonso but still under contract to Renault, added: “I am still young, but I cannot afford to spend any time playing second fiddle.

“Rather, I need to better establish my name.

“On the other hand, I am not in the kind of position where I can have something to say about who my teammate is,” he added.

26-year-old Kovalainen’s current Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, is widely expected to be pushed out of the team for 2008; either by Alonso or Brazilian test driver Nelson Piquet Jr.

“There have been discussions from our part with the teams that have a free seat, but there are no ongoing deal talks,” the Roman’s manager Enrico Zanarini told the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

“When Renault decide, we’ll know a bit more,” he added.

You may also like