The new F1 Beyond The Grid podcast features Heikki Kovalainen talking about his career, Lewis Hamilton, tipping Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso, McLaren and more.

  • The latest Beyond the Grid F1 podcast opened up with guest Kovalainen discussing his whereabouts, as many of his peers have done on the show.
  • Wasting no time, Tom Clarkson immediately asked about F1, asking the Finn if he views his pole lap at Silverstone in 2008 as the best of his career.
  • On the theme of qualifying, the ex-McLaren driver then told of his preparations for qualifying events, and what it’s like to drive a lap on the very limit.
  • Opening up on his teammate in the 2008 F1 season – Lewis Hamilton – Kovalainen spoke on his relationship with the uber-talented Brit.
  • Kovalainen discussed his strengths, as well as his relationship with Hamilton, and the six-time champion’s relentless pace irrespective of the tyre grip or the conditions.
  • He also discussed his relationship with Hamilton’s new teammate, Valtteri Bottas, and how he gave the Finn advice on how to counter him.
  • Then, he recalled his 2008 crash at Spain, how he and the team dealt with it, and the memory loss he endured with the shunt. On that note, he spoke about how he deals mentally with the ever-present dangers of F1.
  • Circling back to that Spain accident, Kovalainen spoke on the personable McLaren doctor that cared for him, and how he kept the team together in tough moments.
  • Speaking on another race of that year – Hungary – Kovalainen told of the emotions tied to winning your first Grand Prix, even though he classified this as a race he didn’t deserve to win based on his drive.
  • The Finn then spoke of his move to Caterham in 2010 – a move he says was the wrong one, as he also told of his time there.
  • Speaking further on such driver moves, he discussed what could have been had he had a driver manager, before delving into his issues with Flavio Briatore and how he wishes he had stuck with him.
  • He then discussed in-depth his relationship with Briatore, and his time at Renault in general, where he partnered Fernando Alonso.
  • This partnership allowed for him to see how the Spaniard worked, and gave him the ability to compare him to the other legend-in-the-making of Hamilton – something he spent the next several minutes doing.
  • He picked apart their respective strengths and personalities, before he spoke on why their 2007 relationship failing came as no surprise
  • After this, Kovalainen switched gears entirely, swapping to discussions about his 2004 win at the ROC, which actually helped him get an F1 drive.
  • Looking back on his 111-race career, he then weighed in on what his best race of his career was – here he said that his highlights actually came from when he was a back-marker, and driving well but perhaps not getting recognition, like Abu Dhabi 2011.
  • Before he left, he spoke about Finnish drivers pushing away sim racing, and why this may be; he also talked about his life in Japan, as opposed to his life in Finland.

Due to FOM’s restrictions, we cannot use the podcast but we have the link where you can find it:

Here’s the last F1 Beyond The Grid podcast with Andrew Green