Heikki Kovalainen will be having a long hard look at his qualifying data in Valencia after struggling to find the same pace as team-mate Lewis Hamilton around the new street circuit.
The Finnish ace, who was finally rewarded for his searing pace with victory at the Hungaroring, struggled to extract the same pace from his McLaren as Lewis Hamilton at Valencia and wound up fifth overall, just shy of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Kovalainen admitted he was disappointed with the result having pulled together an error-free lap.
“The balance of my car was good and we improved continuously throughout the sessions,” he said. “However I’m a little disappointed with my fifth place on the grid as I didn’t make any mistakes and performed to the maximum.”
“It’s now up to us to score as many points as possible and make a good start from the cleaner side of the grid. Our strategy should help us to gain positions during the race.”
Kovalainen qualified over half a second behind team-mate Hamilton, but
McLaren Team Principal Ron Dennis hinted that this reflected different race strategies.
“Today we saw another very good afternoon’s work from both Lewis and Heikki, characterised by strong lap times that reflect their respective race strategies,” the Englishman said.
“All in all, therefore, we’re well prepared for the first grand prix to be held on this exciting new racetrack.”