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The Inside Line - on Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen 06 Apr 2012

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus with partner Catherine Hyde (GBR). Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 21 May 2011. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 3 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 24 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 3 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 24 February 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 2 March 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 24 February 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 16 March 2012

He’s Finnish; he’s driven for Caterham, McLaren and Renault; and during his six seasons on the Formula One grid he’s scored one win, four podiums, one pole position and 105 points. These are just some of the things you probably do know about Heikki Kovalainen. But delve a little deeper and there’s plenty more to discover, not least the 30 year-old’s love of golf and ice cream, and his tendency to lose sunglasses….

Q: What keeps you awake at night?
Heikki Kovalainen:
Nothing really. I’ve always slept well, whether I’m at home or travelling. And if I’m worried about something I’ll deal with it, so nothing really keeps me awake.

Q: If you could banish one thing from your life - for the rest of your life - what would it be?
HK:
Honestly nothing. I have a really happy life and I don’t have anything in the way that I’d want to get rid of.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
HK:
I can remember playing with my family when I was about three. There’s nothing specific really, it’s just sort of an image of being with my parents and playing some sort of game.

Q: Which person can’t you get through a day without talking to?
HK:
My girlfriend Catherine - I speak to her every day.

Q: What’s been your most valuable ‘life’ lesson?
HK:
I’ve had a few good lessons, but the most important have been from my dad. He’s always told me to work hard and play fair and that’s put me in a good position throughout my life

Q: Who do you most admire?
HK:
There isn’t anyone in particular, who I admire more than anyone else. I’ve never really had any heroes. I guess I just do my own thing and want to write my own stories.

Q: What can’t you live without?
HK:
Well, I could probably live without any of the things we all carry around today. If I had to, I’d get used to not having a phone with me. But I’d rather not…

Q: When were you happiest?
HK:
Right now. I can honestly say that my life right now is as good as it’s ever been

Q: If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
HK:
There are quite a few things I’d tell the younger version of myself, but it would mostly be about saying that, whatever happens, it’s all going to work out well.

Q: If your racing career ended after this season what would you do with the rest of your life?
HK:
If my F1 career finished, I’d like to try rallying. But if it was all motorsport that stopped I’d have time to perfect my golf game.

Q: What do you wish you were better at?
HK:
It has to be golf. I started playing pretty late and I know my game keeps improving. But it’s like anything that’s a challenge - the closer you get to being able to master it the smaller the margins of improvement are. I’m getting there.

Q: If you had to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
HK:
I’d probably say my house in Switzerland, but we travel so much it’s really hard to see myself in one place anywhere.

Q: What animal best reflects your personality?
HK:
I’m not really sure there is just one animal that best represents me.

Q: What is more important in life than winning?
HK:
Friends and family - they’re the most important thing in life by far.

Q: What would you spend your last dollar on?
HK:
25 golf balls at a driving range please!

Q: What is your greatest weakness?
HK:
I’m a perfectionist, which can be a good and a bad thing.

Q: What’s the best advice you have been given?
HK:
It’s the same as my earlier answer really. Work hard for what you want and never give up.

Q: What scares you?
HK:
Nothing really. I’m not bothered about snakes or spiders, flying, heights or anything that freaks some people out.

Q: What is your worst habit and what is your best habit?
HK:
Ha! I don’t know what my best habit is but my worst is definitely losing things. I do have a habit of leaving sunglasses around and then forgetting them.

Q: What’s your ultimate comfort food?
HK:
It’s probably ice cream. I don’t eat too much of it, obviously, but I do like ice cream.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a race?
HK:
Clean my golf clubs so they’re ready for the first round I can play when I get home.

Q: What event can’t you forget but wish you could?
HK:
Nothing really comes to mind. I don’t really look back, so even if I’d want to forget something it’s pretty easy to do so

Q: What’s your favourite smell?
HK:
Petrol!

Q: Are you the man you always thought you would become?
HK:
I don’t really know how to answer that. I guess because I’m happy now, doing the job I do and with my home life, I’d say yes. But I don’t really think I knew how it would turn out when I was younger.

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