The Inside Line - on Caterhams Heikki Kovalainen 06 Apr 2012
Hes Finnish; hes driven for Caterham, McLaren and Renault; and during his six seasons on the Formula One grid hes 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 theres plenty more to discover, not least the 30 year-olds love of golf and ice cream, and his tendency to lose sunglasses
Q: What keeps you awake at night?
Heikki Kovalainen: Nothing really. Ive always slept well, whether Im at home or travelling. And if Im worried about something Ill 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 dont have anything in the way that Id want to get rid of.
Q: Whats your earliest memory?
HK: I can remember playing with my family when I was about three. Theres nothing specific really, its just sort of an image of being with my parents and playing some sort of game.
Q: Which person cant you get through a day without talking to?
HK: My girlfriend Catherine - I speak to her every day.
Q: Whats been your most valuable life lesson?
HK: Ive had a few good lessons, but the most important have been from my dad. Hes always told me to work hard and play fair and thats put me in a good position throughout my life
Q: Who do you most admire?
HK: There isnt anyone in particular, who I admire more than anyone else. Ive never really had any heroes. I guess I just do my own thing and want to write my own stories.
Q: What cant you live without?
HK: Well, I could probably live without any of the things we all carry around today. If I had to, Id get used to not having a phone with me. But Id rather not
Q: When were you happiest?
HK: Right now. I can honestly say that my life right now is as good as its ever been
Q: If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
HK: There are quite a few things Id tell the younger version of myself, but it would mostly be about saying that, whatever happens, its 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, Id like to try rallying. But if it was all motorsport that stopped Id 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 its like anything thats a challenge - the closer you get to being able to master it the smaller the margins of improvement are. Im getting there.
Q: If you had to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
HK: Id probably say my house in Switzerland, but we travel so much its really hard to see myself in one place anywhere.
Q: What animal best reflects your personality?
HK: Im 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 - theyre 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: Im a perfectionist, which can be a good and a bad thing.
Q: Whats the best advice you have been given?
HK: Its the same as my earlier answer really. Work hard for what you want and never give up.
Q: What scares you?
HK: Nothing really. Im 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 dont 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: Whats your ultimate comfort food?
HK: Its probably ice cream. I dont eat too much of it, obviously, but I do like ice cream.
Q: Whats the first thing you do when you get home after a race?
HK: Clean my golf clubs so theyre ready for the first round I can play when I get home.
Q: What event cant you forget but wish you could?
HK: Nothing really comes to mind. I dont really look back, so even if Id want to forget something its pretty easy to do so
Q: Whats your favourite smell?
Q: Are you the man you always thought you would become?
HK: I dont really know how to answer that. I guess because Im happy now, doing the job I do and with my home life, Id say yes. But I dont really think I knew how it would turn out when I was younger.
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