Heikki Kovalainen: Underdog or Serious Contender?

Mustafa SariContributor IJune 24, 2009

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 08:  Heikki Kovalainen of Finland and McLaren Mercedes prepares to drive during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 8, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Heikki is a nice guy but he didn't make the impact which F1 experts expected in 2007 season. I want to make a article about him because he has a teammate named Lewis Hamilton, and nobody cares that he does good job.

Before talking about the future, we must look at Heikk's first two seasons in F1. In lower categories, he was always fast and successful, as everybody knows. Before the 2007 season starts, Alan Henry and Peter Windsor said he was the best rookie with two wins in the season.  Also, Pat Symonds said he has the same speed of Alonso.

I agree with Windsor's ideas in 2007. Because Renault would give a race seat near Fernando Alonso in 2006. It was for learning F1 from a champions view. With a year off Heikki learned more technical issues about car. But Heikki got slower than expected.

In 2007 as we know, He drove well in crap R27. He beat Fisico in the end of season. If Renault didn't choose Piquet near Alonso. It would be a ideal Renault team for me. Than a disappointing Mclaren season came in 2008. He was outpaced by golden champion Hamilton.

Than bright future got darker in 2008 than people hope nothing for Heikki. Also people says he is a second driver or other type of things. In 2007, nobody wanted Hamilton to be Alonso's number two. But now these people wants Heikki to be forever number two.

Than Alonso had hard times with Hamilton, Also Kimi had hard times against Massa etc. But people still don't believe Heikki to outpace Lewis. I know, He is still making mistakes but Lewis does too.

Last three races shows me there is not much difference between Heikki and Lewis. They are equal in Qualifying and their race pace is good with strategies. For example, If Bourdais didn't hit Kovy, he would finish higher than Lewis in Silverstone. 

Lewis raced in two stop and Heikki raced in one stop strategy. It was the reverse of Turkey. I want to say that even Hamilton is beatable. He is no Senna or Schumi. So with retirements, Heikki is still damaging his reputation also sometimes luck is not with him. 

In Conclusion, Heikki should prove himself against the odds but Hamilton created a popular culture in F1. I like Lewis but this is a rubbish thing. Sometimes it turns to team nationalism. Heikki must do what he did to Schumi and Loeb in ROC 2004.

Also I like Lewis but Media and some fans make him like a comic book character. I don't understand that view but I respect both Heikki and Lewis. I hope this year, Heikki will do well. 

In the end, Heikki must do what people will not expect. For example, Hamilton did in 2007, Massa did in 2008. Even Button did this year so never say never again in F1.