Kovalainen replaces Alonso in 2007

fbc

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Having confirmed Giancarlo Fisichella as a 2007 race driver last June, Renault announced this morning that current test driver Heikki Kovalainen, 24, will race alongside him in 2007.

Kovalainen has completed over 28,000 km of testing for Renault since 2004, and was runner up in the GP2 Series in 2005.

"I am thrilled to get the opportunity to race with a world champion team like Renault," said Kovalainen. "I have been a member of the Renault Driver Development programme since 2002, when I had the distant ambition of one day becoming an F1 driver. It is a fantastic feeling to have finally achieved that. My two seasons testing for the team, as well as my time in GP2, have allowed me to build my technical knowledge and to understand what it takes to win in Formula 1."

"I have also had the opportunity to show the team what I can do, and it is a great motivation to know that they believe in me," he added. "It will be a fantastic feeling to line up on the grid in Melbourne, but that is still a long way off. At the moment, I am totally focused on helping Renault win the 2006 championship."
From here

Well deserved too - I expect big things of Heikki - really looking forward to seeing how he goes.

Also, Piquet Jr & Zonta are Renault's test drivers for next year.

Ferrari are announcing their '07 line up on Sunday after the Monza race.
 

SL65

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Who?

Yeah I don't really know him but damn he's lucky to get a ride with Renault!
 

skaternick

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He caused a mild sensation in GP2 a couple years ago, and he won the IROC last year(?) as well. Should be interesting to see how he fares...

But yea, this is a rather interesting development for anyone following the whereabouts of Raikkonen next year.
 

mmap

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:thumbsup:

Way to go Heikki!!

And for SL65AMG~V12~612BHP!!!!!!!, he was the Stig when Renault F1 car was on the TG track, and he won the race of chanpions a last year (beating among others Schumi in a Ferrari...)
 

MXM

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:thumbsup: He is also current test driver for Renaul (and it's said in the text) so he knows the car damn well :)

Now comes the question of kimi. Since renault seats are reserved it's likely that he goes to ferrari. But probably only if Schumi retires for next year. We will know it this weekend.
 

fbc

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^ I'm expecting Kimi to be in a Ferrari next year, and Michael to retire. I can't imagine Kimi being too happy about staying at McLaren for another year.

Of course now that I've said that, it's bound to go completely the other way...
 

skaternick

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Kimi - Ferrari
Schum - Ferrari
Massa - Ferrari test driver

Then in '08, Schu retires, Massa teams up with Kimi.

That's my theory that I've stuck to from day one haha.
 

pfrocker

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skaternick said:
Kimi - Ferrari
Schum - Ferrari
Massa - Ferrari test driver

Then in '08, Schu retires, Massa teams up with Kimi.

That's my theory that I've stuck to from day one haha.
no I don't think that will happen. Kimi is looking for being the lead driver of a team, not second. Plus Massa performance this year really deserves to have a place next year. As for Schumi, it go either way (really don't want him to retire). But if schumi retires, I'm sure Kimi would go with Ferrari.
 

skaternick

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Kimi is looking to have equal #1 status wherever he goes, and I doubt that Ferrari would have a problem with those terms. Him and Schumacher on equal terms would more than likely be a hell of a lot of fun for Schumacher, as he's a driver that loves to actually race and be forced to drive hard. And besides, it'd probably only be for one season anyways.

As for Massa, yes he's put in some decent performances this year, but everyone seems to be forgetting his rather poor start to the season, especially at Monaco where he ran into the wall on his first qualifying lap. The guy is good, and he's definitely improving (his race pace consistancy has come a long way), but he's still got a hell of a way to go.
 
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skaternick said:
He caused a mild sensation in GP2 a couple years ago, and he won the IROC last year(?) as well. Should be interesting to see how he fares...

But yea, this is a rather interesting development for anyone following the whereabouts of Raikkonen next year.
I believe he won the Race of Champions in 2004. I don't think he was in IROC.

Well we'll see what the Finn can do but I have to say that Sebastian Vettel has been doing a good job of setting fast times on practices. Keep it up kid because he is the same age as me...makes me sick.
 

vRS

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Nice one who ever you are...... never liked the Renault F1 team or Alonso much so maybe this new dude will change that.
 

speedometer

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I recommend you folks to watch out for these Finns in next year, because theyre going to be fast !
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

Blythy

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everyone knows that finland consistently produces gooood drivers (Well, I know :p)

lesse in the past... 22 years:

K. Rosberg
Gronholm
Hakkinen
Raikonnen
Kovalainen

(We'll forget about salo)

in fact, in the history of F1, finland has the best ratio of drivers to champions (7:2), and population wise, the most champions to people.
 

speedometer

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Blythy said:
everyone knows that finland consistently produces gooood drivers (Well, I know :p)

lesse in the past... 22 years:

K. Rosberg
Gronholm
Hakkinen
Raikkonen
Kovalainen

(We'll forget about salo)

in fact, in the history of F1, finland has the best ratio of drivers to champions (7:2), and population wise, the most champions to people.
that`s just start of the list...

Tommi M?kinen, WRC-champion 1996-1999
Juha Kankkunen, WRC-champion -86, -87, -91 and -93
Hannu Mikkola, WRC-champion -83
Timo Salonen, WRC-champion -85
Jyrki j?rvilehto, American Le Mans series champion 2005
Mika Kallio, Second in Road racing 125cc in 2005
Juha Salminen, Various championships(FIM) in enduro

and list goes on...
 
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Did you know that Kovalainen has tested Renault F1 car this season for 18000 kilometres (11250 miles)... That's more than anybody else including racedrivers and testdrivers. Total test with Renault is more than 28000km (17500 miles). :thumbsup:
He has done testing up to 800-900km per day :shock:
Go Heikki!!!
 

trionic

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Heikki is not mentally so strong as Kimi(not even close) or so absolute fast, but Heikki can drive quite enough near limit without errors, making him fine F1 racer.

In Finland general opinion is that either Heikki or Kimi will win title next year, nobody else.
 
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