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Kovalainen: I was as fast as I could be

Heikki Kovalainen admitted he couldn't have gone quicker in Singapore after the McLaren man was forced to settle for seventh place in F1's annual night race.

Kovalainen, who is widely expected to leave the Woking-based team at the end of the season to allow Kimi Raikkonen to make a return, lost out in qualifying at the challenging street circuit when the red flag brought about by Rubens Barrichello's accident left him down in tenth place.

Although penalties for Nick Heidfeld and Barrichello promoted him two places on the grid, the Finn admitted he had struggled to find more pace during the race itself and he could only manage seventh, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory.

“I had no problems from start to finish and was feeling very comfortable, but I couldn't go quicker,” he reflected. “I drove to the pace I could with this car. I struggle a bit to maintain the tyre's performance and the car gets out of shape if I try to increase my pace, so I can't carry more speed through the corners. My focus now is to get the car better for me, so I can achieve better results.”

Despite some disappointment on a personal level, Kovalainen added that he was pleased for the team to have secured a second win of the season.

“As a team, we'll take many positives from this race,” he said. “First of all, our car performance has been fantastic all weekend – and Lewis's victory shows that the performance is definitely there.

“But, to be honest, my weekend was ruined yesterday in qualifying, which was very unfortunate for me.”

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September 28, 2009 3:02 PM

you know I really feel for you Heikki, it must be really jerking your chain, when you see the other car up there and your not getting anywhere near it, I really hope you get some decent results from now on in, but your first lap has to be the worst in the whole field in every race. Its clear now that Kimi has your seat next year. I hope you get a good chair for next year, where you can be more relaxed and show us what your capable off

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