Jun.2 (GMM) McLaren executive Martin Whitmarsh has declared himself delighted with the British team's new driver recruit in 2008, Heikki Kovalainen.
The Finn moved from Renault after his mixed rookie season in 2007 to become Lewis Hamilton's teammate this year.And even though Kovalainen, 26, is the lowest placed of the six McLaren, Ferrari or BMW-Sauber runners in the drivers' championship at present, Whitmarsh is still full of praise.He said he pushed personally to put Kovalainen in the sister MP4-23, after Fernando Alonso left McLaren."At the beginning it was difficult, because it meant our test driver Pedro de la Rosa - who is a good friend - had lost his chance of the race seat."At first, it was best not to mention Heikki's name to Pedro! But now he thinks differently -- he knows, as we all do, that we made a good decision with Heikki," Whitmarsh told the German publication Auto Motor und Sport.Regarding the 23 point deficit to Hamilton, meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz competition boss Norbert Haug reckons at least 20 of those lost points were not Kovalainen's fault.