Heikki Kovalainen


BornOctober 19, 1981


Heikki Johannes Kovalainen is aFinnish Formula One racing driver who currently races for Caterham F1. He drove for McLaren in 2008 and 2009 and Team Lotus in 2010 and 2011, before its rebranding to Caterham. He competed in karting from 1991 to 2000, during which time he finished runner-up in the Finnish Formula A championship in 1999 and 2000. In 2000 he won the Nordic championship and the Paris-Bercy Elf Masters event, leading him to be elected as the Finnish Kart Driver of the Year. He was supported by the Renault Driver Development programme early in his racing career, during which he won the World Series by Nissan championship and finished runner-up in the GP2 series. Renault signed him on as a full-time Formula One test driver for2006, and then promoted him to a race seat for 2007. He moved to McLaren for the 2008 season, where he partnered Lewis Hamilton. His second season saw him achieve his first pole position at Silverstone and his first victory at Hungaroring, becoming the 100th driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix. He remained with the team for the 2009 season. In 2010, he moved to Team Lotus where he remained for 2011. Kovalainen was retained by the team – renamed Caterham F1 for 2012 – for a third year, partnering Vitaly Petrov. This season was more stable, as Kovalainen finished all races but the initial Australian Grand Prix.
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