Sunday, May 11, 2008


Sunday 11th May 2008

Heikki Kovalainen believes his bang on the head might have done him some good after chalking up a career milestone on Saturday.

Kovalainen played down the fact, but for the first time since his arrival in Formula One the Finn will start on the front row of the grid for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

That in itself is a remarkable achievement bearing in mind the 26-year-old was knocked unconscious 13 days ago following his horror shunt in Barcelona.

Other than a massive headache, Kovalainen remarkably walked away unscathed from the accident, and was eventually cleared to race for this weekend following a stringent medical examination.

Kovalainen completed his comeback with a superb qualifying performance, losing out to Ferrari pole-sitter Felipe Massa by 0.191 seconds, but ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.115secs.

When it was suggested to Kovalainen he had bounced back stronger after his accident, he joked: "Maybe it was good to get a hit on the head in Barcelona!"

He then added: "It's a pleasure to start on the front row because it's been a bit of a rollercoaster the last couple of weeks after my big accident in Spain.

"I was very lucky to survive without any injuries, which was great news and shows just what the FIA has done in the past to improve safety.

"But I have felt happy all the way through the weekend. The most important thing is arriving here I felt 100% fit. I would not have come here if that had not been the case.

"Hopefully I can have a very good race from this position, my best in Formula One. It's looking good at the moment.

"Of course it's better to be on pole, then I'd be happier, but at least second is better than anywhere behind."

The fact McLaren have split the Ferraris, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth, suggests the Maranello marque might not be as dominant as they have been in the last two races in Bahrain and Spain.

"From what we have seen it looks like we are closer," assessed Kovalainen.

"Having said that we know Ferrari are always going to be strong, whether it's in practice, qualifying or a race.

"The other teams are also still going to be strong, so we can't take anything for granted. We just have to push to the maximum.

"But the feeling this weekend is that we are closer."

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