Kovalainen: I’ve done everything to step into Kimi’s shoes, I’ve even worn his underwear

Heikki Kovalainen in Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus cockpit

Heikki Kovalainen in Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus cockpit

Heikki Kovalainen was not worried about stepping into the absent Kimi Raikkonen’s shoes – or his underwear for that matter – at the United States Grand Prix on Saturday.

Lotus’s Finnish stand-in, replacing Raikkonen at short notice after the 2007 World Champion pulled out of the last two races to have back surgery, qualified an impressive eighth for his first race since 2012.

“I’ve done everything I can to step into his shoes for this weekend and I’ve even worn his fireproof underwear. I hope it was washed,” Kovalainen joked with the team website.

It is the first time since he was at McLaren in 2009 that he has made the top 10 and his next task is to score points again.

Heikki Kovalainen during qualifying at COTA

Heikki Kovalainen during qualifying at COTA

Kovalainen, who arrived too late for a news conference he was scheduled to appear in at the Circuit of the Americas on Thursday, said he had been given a ‘smooth landing’ at the team he last drove for when they were still known as Renault.

“Obviously they like working with a Finnish driver,” he said.

“I haven’t spoken to Kimi as he’s busy recovering from his operation, and knowing Kimi he might wind me up with some bullsh*t about the car.” (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Chrill

    After Saturday with quali, it looks as though Lotus did the right thing. Heikki is not a world champion, he never will be, but he is a team player and he can hopefully deliver a decent points haul. If he can treat the Lotus nicely on long runs, he can definitely finish top 5.

  • Fritzo

    Heikki give me reason to watch F1 again. He will break the record for biggest gap between points finishes.

  • McLarenfan

    Heikki give it all you have and show those who doubted your ability were to get off.

  • Hugo

    He has been seriously impressive so far.

  • Boycottthebull

    Good Job.