Heikki Kovalainen believes McLaren's approach to the 2008 season cost him race wins.

Heikki Kovalainen believes McLaren's approach to the 2008 season cost him race wins.

We reported recently that the Finn, 27, was seeking winter talks with the British team's bosses, after he usually went into the decisive 'Q3' phase of qualifying with a higher fuel load than his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Now, in a candid interview with the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, Kovalainen has confirmed that some behind-the-scenes goings-on during his first season with McLaren often made "good results impossible".

"Only once was I lighter (on fuel) than Lewis," said Kovalainen, referring to qualifying, "and that was at Silverstone, where I was on the pole.

"In all the other qualifyings I was fuelled more heavily. I was often the heaviest guy in the top six or seven.

"Obviously this has an effect also in the race," he insisted, pointing out the compromise in track position, tyre wear, and time lost in traffic.

When rumours began gathering pace that Kovalainen's seemingly lacklustre performances this year might threaten his seat for 2009, the Finn said he had no doubt about his position.

"The team knew exactly what was taking place," he said. "If I had been at the front more often, then I would have won more frequently.

"So that's something we have to look at for the coming year," Kovalainen said.

 

 

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