Heikki Kovalainen is aiming to continue the momentum he built up in Canada and United States as the Formula 1 circus heads back to Europe for the start of the second half of the season.

Following a difficult start to the year, Kovalainen produced a best result of fourth in the melee of the Canadian Grand Prix, before following that up with a fifth place finish a week later at Indianapolis.

Indeed, while Montreal heralded his best result, the Finn admits Indianapolis was most certainly his best race of the season having qualified inside the top six for the first time before then converting that into a strong finish.

It is something that has given Kovalainen, who had been somewhat under fire after the first few rounds, more confidence heading to the next round of the season at Magny-Cours, the home event for the Renault team

"I think I have some good momentum going at the moment - and I want to maintain that in France this weekend. Montreal was my best result so far in F1, and Indianapolis was my best race: a strong weekend, no mistakes, no problems, five laps led and a good level of performance from me and from the car. I am still improving every time I drive, learning and putting it into practice."

Despite that initial criticism, Kovalainen claims the R27 is now better to drive than it was at the start of the season and that too is giving him the motivation he needs to match experienced team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella.

"We had a car that was difficult to drive. It was mainly inconsistency - one lap, you would go into a corner and it would be fine; next lap, a tiny change could mean you missed the corner completely. That meant it was hard to perform consistently.

"For me, nothing has changed. I came into F1 with confidence in my ability. I always push to the limit, always attack and try to be aggressive. Sometimes this year, I have overstepped the mark. But I never lose confidence, never let my head go down. I always believed that things would come together for me, and I was positive even in the difficult moments.

"I think that the results in North America have changed the perceptions around me, not my confidence in myself. My job is to focus on the essentials, block out the rest - and drive to my full potential."

 

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