Q and A: Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen CHinaAfter a trying second half of the year, McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen insists he has only one thing on his mind as he gears up for the Brazilian GP: winning.

How has your knowledge of the car and the team developed over the 2007 season?
“It didn t take too long to find where I wanted to be with the team, but it s taken longer to get used to the MP4-23. Sometimes I ve pushed the set-up in the wrong direction but, over the year, I ve found a better direction. I ve been particularly pleased with my qualifying pace; even from the first race, I was competitive. Now I m working hard to improve my knowledge of the tyres and everything is headed in the right direction.”

With the 2008 season almost finished, how are you approaching the winter?
“It s been a good season overall. I ve done a lot of learning throughout the year and I already feel much better prepared for next year. I now understand how to make the car fast and what I need to do to get the most out of it. I thought this year would be more difficult, but I feel I ve done a good job.”

What are your aims for the last race of the year?
“To win it, obviously! With the championship as it is, things are a little different going to Brazil. Clearly, I want to be able to help the team and Lewis wherever necessary – but the easiest way to do that is to be running at the front. The team knows I will play my part, but we are also targeting the constructors championship. We may be 11 points behind Ferrari, but there are 18 points available in Brazil and we go into the final race still looking at securing both world titles – that has to be our aim.”