According to world champion Lewis Hamilton, he would be happy if Heikki Kovalainen remains his McLaren teammate for a third consecutive season in 2010.

According to world champion Lewis Hamilton, he would be happy if Heikki Kovalainen remains his McLaren teammate for a third consecutive season in 2010.

Speculation suggests that Kovalainen, 27, may lose the works Mercedes-powered seat for a lack of performance, but Hamilton told the German press this week that he is "very content" to drive alongside the Finn.

Asked about the rumours, the Briton told Sport Bild: "I've heard about it but I am very content with Heikki as my teammate. He is focused, friendly and very talented.

"He is very strong and is helping to move the team forwards. I enjoy working with him and I hope that he stays," Hamilton, 24, added.

German Nico Rosberg, whose father Keke moved from Williams to McLaren at the end of 1985, has been named as a leading candidate for Kovalainen's drive.

"Theoretically a lot of other drivers could be (candidates) as well. I have no idea," Hamilton responded.

Also by the German media this week, Mercedes' Norbert Haug was asked about the Kovalainen speculation, and spoke up for the Finn who at the end of 2007 replaced the departing Fernando Alonso.

The German said most current drivers would struggle to keep up with Hamilton, but that Kovalainen's qualifying record against the reigning world champion so far in 2009 - 3:4 - is "not so bad".

"Lewis is completely clearly one of the strongest drivers in the field," said Haug. "We have seen him in direct comparison with Fernando Alonso, who is still regarded by many as the best of them all."

 

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