McLaren CEO on new boy Kovalainen

McLaren Mercedes CEO Martin Whitmarsh believes new boy Heikki Kovalainen still has to raise his game despite a string of fine early season performances. The 26-year-old Finn recorded the fastest laps in Australia and Bahrain and a podium finish in Malaysia to emerge as one of the front-runners for this year s World Championship.

Speaking to the official McLaren team website Whitmarsh said: “The feeling within the team is that we still haven t seen the best of him. Lewis thinks as much, too, and that s good because he knows he ll have to raise his game.”

The McLaren ace is level on points with teammate Lewis Hamilton after three races having quickly acclimatised himself with the MP4-23 and his new team. “Both Heikki and Lewis have learned a lot in the 20 grand prix s they ve done,” added the CEO. “They are deeply ambitious – and I know teams always claim their drivers love each other – but everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes can sense the mutual admiration that exists between them. They want to beat each other but they are open and fair, so there are lots of positives.”

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