McLaren-Mercedes number two Heikki Kovalainen will gunning for his first victory of the season today and the Finn believes he has a real chance to take the glory in front of the tifosi
Kovalainen had to settle for fourth spot in qualifying on Saturday and while initially it looked as if he had again been outperformed by his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, once the post-qualifying F1 car weights were revealed, it was clear to see both are on different strategies.
Indeed Kovalainen qualified with almost 30 kg more fuel than Hamilton, who will start from pole, and that means he could end up being in the best position to win the Italian Grand Prix, the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.
A good result would also be well timed, as he has yet to re-new his deal with the team for 2010, and with rumours linking Nico Rosberg to his seat, he is running out of races to impress.
“Pole position would have been better, but I'm happy with my position,” Kovalainen said after qualifying. “Tomorrow, we'll see what strategies everybody is running: I think we're going to be strong. We're in good shape, have a solid and reliable car and are looking to be very competitive tomorrow.
“I've been quick all weekend and actually felt the car was working better with a heavier fuel load than on lighter tanks, so that's another positive for the race.
“Our KERS Hybrid is going to be very helpful – it's a boost at the start and will be useful throughout the race, particularly for overtaking and pushing out of the corners.
“My focus for tomorrow is to win this race – and I think that is a realistic target for me,” he concluded.