F1 »

Heikki: Vettel was just too fast today.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen had to settle for the runners-up spot at Monza on Sunday - and he freely admitted at the finish that race winner Sebastian Vettel was just too quick.

Kovalainen, who began the race in second, never really looked like challenging the Toro Rosso driver for the victory and in the end the Finn finished 12.5 seconds adrift in his MP4-23.

Speaking after the race, Heikki explained that brake and tyre problems were to blame for his failure to challenge for P1.

"In today's tricky weather conditions I struggled to keep temperature in the brakes, and in the opening stages of the race I had problems with my extreme-wet tyres," he confirmed.

"First I thought it would improve after a few laps, but it didn't. Only at the end was I able to match the lap times of Sebastian Vettel in front of me. In today's conditions he was just too fast for me - congratulations to him for his very first grand prix win.

"I'm happy to have scored eight points though, and I look forward to the next race in Singapore now."

McLaren-Mercedes team principal Ron Dennis was however still happy with the performance of his 'number two' driver even if he couldn't challenge the customer car of Vettel.

"Heikki drove well to finish second and bag eight valuable world championship points," Dennis observed. "The visibility in the rain early on was dreadful, and it was sensible of him to drop back a little from Sebastian in the first few laps.

"As the race unfolded we thought he might be able to catch Sebastian, but he was prevented from doing so when his tyres began to lose grip as the rain abated."

Kovalainen's second - in combination with Lewis Hamilton's seventh place finish, allowed McLaren to cut the gap to Ferrari in the constructors' championship. The gap is now down from 11 points pre-Monza to just 5 going into the final four long haul races in Singapore, Japan, China and Brazil.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4-23, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Toro Rosso STR03, Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber.F1.08, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Powerline 2008 - Unregistered

September 15, 2008 8:41 AM

I agree Barry. HK's body language was really odd for someone who is lucky enough to come in second - ahead of the big boys. I expected to congrats SV when they were parked next to each other, since SV was still around when HK came in. HK just walked off. Later on he seemed to be somewhat moody & sulking in the corner before the trophy presentation. He didn't seemed to have the guts or frame of mind to challenge SV. Anyway, SV did a great job. Heard that SV is the nicest guy in F1. Good for him.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.