Heikki Kovalainen Biography: Heikki Kovalainen is a Finnish racing driver who has won multiple championships and trophies in various racing categories. Beginning with kart racing, he has since competed in the World Series and won the 100th Formula One Grand Prix.
Heikki Kovalainen Biography
Heikki Johannes Kovalainen was born in Suomussalmi, Finland, on October 19, 1981, and was given motorsport at an early age. At age 10, he began competing in kart racing, and over the next decade, he won multiple contests as a young amateur. In 1999 and 2000, he placed second in the Finnish Formula A Championship, which led to his transition to professional racing driver.
Heikki Kovalainen Wiki
|Date Of Birth||October 19, 1981|
|Birth Place||Suomussalmi, Finland|
|Net Worth||$55 million|
Heikki Kovalainen Personal
Kovalainen began seeing his English girlfriend, Catherine Hyde, in 2002, and the couple married in 2014. The couple lives in Coppet, Switzerland, where the famous driver likes playing drums and golf in his free time.
Heikki Kovalainen Net Worth
Heikki Kovalainen is a Finnish racing driver with a net worth of $55 million.
Heikki Kovalainen Career
In December 2003, Kovalainen, Franck Montagny, and José Mara López tested the Renault R23B F1 car in Barcelona. Kovalainen tested for Minardi in 2004, but Renault promoted him to second test driver behind Montagny. Kovalainen was promoted instead of Montagny after 2005 and spent all of the 2006 season as a full-time tester, logging over 28,000 km. Fernando Alonso had signed with McLaren for the 2007 season, so Renault chose to promote Kovalainen in his stead, a decision they confirmed on 6 September 2006. Team manager Flavio Briatore stated, “I hope to find the anti-Alonso in Kovalainen.”
Kovalainen debuted in a race at the Australian Grand Prix. His season started to rough; he finished tenth after committing several errors during the race. Flavio Briatore viewed the young Finn’s debut disappointing and hoped to see the real Kovalainen next time. In his second Grand Prix, Kovalainen won his first World Championship point at Sepang, Malaysia, and he followed this up with a ninth-place finish in Bahrain. Then, he finished seventh in Barcelona, outperforming colleague Giancarlo Fisichella, but he finished 13th in Monaco.
Fernando Alonso returned to Renault after the 2007 season, leaving Kovalainen with offers from Toyota and McLaren. On December 14, 2007, it was announced that Kovalainen would again replace Alonso and race for McLaren Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2008. Kovalainen joined Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, and Kimi Raikkonen as Finnish drivers driving for McLaren.
After completing his first official testing session on January 9, 2008, at Jerez, Kovalainen made his McLaren race debut at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, where he was the fastest in the first qualifying session and started third behind Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica. He overtook Fernando Alonso on the final lap but accidentally hit the pit lane limiter, giving Alonso fourth place and Kovalainen fifth. However, he did set the race’s fastest lap. At the beginning of the 2009 season, McLaren struggled for speed. Neither Kovalainen nor Hamilton placed within the top ten for the first two races.
Kovalainen retired after crashing with Mark Webber in the first sector in the Australian Grand Prix. In the Malaysian Grand Prix, he lost control on the opening lap while battling for position with Hamilton and Massa. He earned his first points of the season by finishing fifth in China. McLaren progressively improved the car’s performance, with Kovalainen finishing eighth in Germany, fifth in Hungary, and fourth at the European Grand Prix, his best result of the season. This was followed by straight sixth-place finishes at Spa and Monza and a seventh-place finish in Singapore. After finishing the season with 22 points and five retirements, he was ranked 12th in the championship. On November 18, it was announced that recently crowned world champion Jenson Button had been hired as Hamilton’s teammate on a multi-year contract, leaving Kovalainen without a 2010 F1 drive.
Alongside Jarno Trulli, it was announced on December 14, 2009, that Kovalainen would race for Lotus Racing in 2010. On March 14, 2010, the team debuted at the Bahrain Grand Prix. In preseason testing, the car lagged due to a shortage of downforce caused by the need for a conservative initial design. Kovalainen completed the race in fifteenth place, two laps behind race winner Fernando Alonso.
Kovalainen was retained by the team, renamed Caterham F1 for the 2012 season, for a third year, driving alongside Vitaly Petrov. This season was better for Kovalainen, as he finished every race except the first Australian Grand Prix.
Before the 2013 season, Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde replaced Kovalainen and Petrov. Still, Kovalainen remained on excellent terms with Caterham, attending the Malaysian Grand Prix as Tony Fernandes’ guest. Before the Bahrain Grand Prix, the team announced that it had re-signed Kovalainen as one of its reserve drivers, replacing Ma Qing Hua and driving alongside Alexander Rossi. In this capacity, he participated in the first free practice sessions in Bahrain and Spain.
The Lotus F1 Team announced on November 14, 2013, that Kovalainen would replace regular driver Kimi Raikkonen while Raikkonen underwent back surgery. Kovalainen participated in the Grand Prix of the United States and the Grand Prix of Brazil. He placed fourteenth in both competitions. He was rumored to be joining Mercedes in 2014 as a test driver and reuniting with former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, but this was never confirmed. In August, he carried out a test with a BMW M4 DTM for the BMW Motorsport DTM team.
In partnership with Amazon Web Services & machine learning, F1 found in August 2020 that Kovalainen was the eighth-quickest Formula One driver qualifying from 1983 to 2020. This resulted from a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which used an algorithm to determine the fastest drivers in F1 qualifying sessions by comparing each driver’s performance to that of their friends.