I’ve always liked Heikki Kovalainen for his boyish looks and after I interviewed him, I liked him even more! He’s probably the driver who gives the longest answers and I liked talking to him!
Q: How different is it being with Lotus compared to being with McLaren?
A: It’s been a totally different challenge – Lotus is a new team whereas McLaren is a big and established team. So here we have to start from zero, but I think in a short time the team has done very well to prepare for the season. We aren’t really a new team anymore; we have found our place in the paddock and people respect us. Now we have to move forward and make a quicker car.
Q: Most challenging track you have ever raced on?
A: The Macau track during my days in Formula 3. The street circuit is so long and it’s quite difficult.
Q: Have you ever thought about what you would be if you weren’t an F1 driver?
A: Yeah I could be racing a rally car maybe, but if I weren’t in motorsports at all, I’d probably be flying a plane or a helicopter. I have a helicopter licence so I might have been a helicopter pilot!
Q: Who is the greatest driver of all time?
A: In F1 it has to be Michael Schumacher because of his results and his victories.
Q: Your most memorable race?
A: My victory in Hungary in 2008. My first victory in F1 will be the best memory, best feeling and best moment I remember always.
Q: What do you think of female drivers?
A: They are good drivers but it’s difficult for them to arrive in F1. F1 is very physical, and females just aren’t built as strong. It’s not a matter of their skills; they can do training and fitness but the female body is simply not built strong enough.
Q: If you could choose any woman to be your team-mate, who would it be?
A: Charlotte Johanssen, she looks like she could be a good team-mate.
Q: What is wrong with the world and how can you change it?
A: There are many things that are wrong in the world. I wish people will stop fighting and there be no more wars, but there’s nothing I can really do about it.
Q: If one day you are in charge of an F1 team, what would you do?
A: I don’t know; that would be a time past my career. I’ll probably try to be a good leader and a good example to motivate the team. But actually no, I wouldn’t want to be in charge of a team.
Q: Short or long hair on women?
A: It doesn’t matter, but probably long hair. It’s not a must but if I could choose, I’d choose long. And yes, my girlfriend has long hair!
Q: One thing you must do before you die?
A: I don’t have anything that I need to do. I don’t plan things too much, I just go for it.
Q: Biggest annoyance in life?
A: I don’t like people who are not honest and don’t tell the truth.
Q: iPhone or Blackberry?
A: I got both, but probably iPhone as it’s more simple to use and it works very well with my Mac.
Q: Tattoo or piercing?
A: Tattoo, no I don’t have one and maybe I might get one, but I’ve never thought about it.
Q: Boxers or briefs?
A: Boxers, more comfy.
Q: Slippers or sandals?
Q: Berms or jeans?
A: Jeans; even in hot countries like Singapore, it’s not a problem.
Q: Number of children you want to have in future?
A: I never thought about that, but eventually yes I want to have children.
Q: Advice for aspiring racing drivers who want to reach F1?
A: Work hard from a very young age, keep positive and try to show people that you are better than others. There is no short cut, just work hard – that’s the best advice my father gave to me. Believe in yourself and don’t listen to people who are negative. That’s worked very well for me.
Q: Anything they should know about F1 before coming into it?
A: It’s a tough world, so you have to be mentally and physically strong. There’s a lot of speculation and negativity surrounding you so you need to be strong enough to withstand it and get through it.
Q: General advice for our readers?
A: Keep positive, have faith and believe in yourself.
Team: Lotus Racing
Debut: 2007 Australian Grand Prix
Date of Birth: 19 October 1981
Place of Birth: Suomussalmi, Finland
Marital Status: Single