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Fuji has good memories for me, says Heikki.

Heikki Kovalainen will return to the scene of his first ever F1 podium result next weekend and he will be hoping he can again get onto the rostrum at the state-of-the-art Fuji International Speedway.

Kovalainen, who finished a disappointing and somewhat frustrating tenth in his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 in Singapore last time out, has been on the podium just three times this year.

With ten points finishes however from the 15 races, he has managed to notch up 51 points, something that leaves him only five points behind Nick Heidfeld and six points behind reigning champion, Kimi Raikkonen, who is currently fourth in the drivers' standings.

Now he will want to add to that tally - and in the process help his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by taking points off Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica, as well as help cement McLaren's slender 1 point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

"Last year's Japanese GP was one of those races where everything went right for me, one of those races where you can perform to a higher level than the car," Heikki recalled.

"I didn't qualify too well [and was only 12th on the grid] but I kept my head, drove sensibly, didn't make any mistakes and battled with Kimi to finish second – my first Formula 1 podium.

"It was the highlight of my season. I'm looking forward to getting back to a circuit now where I've got plenty of good memories. I love Japan and I'm also looking forward to visiting Tokyo."

Asked about the 4.563 kilometre venue, which only returned to the Formula 1 schedule in 2007 after last hosting the Japanese GP in 1977, Heikki added that it is not especially difficult.

"There is no single corner at Fuji that particularly contributes to your laptime. It's relatively easy to understand the corners, and it's not a particularly tricky circuit," he confirmed.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4-23, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
Haas VF17
Haas VF17
Haas VF17
Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing
Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
McLaren MCL32 [credit: McLaren Twitter]
Williams Martini Racing FW40
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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