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Kovalainen expects better ride in 2009

HEIKKI Kovalainen is frustrated that he didn't contribute enough to McLaren's overall points total last season for the team to capture the Formula One constructors' title along with Lewis Hamilton's drivers' championship.

The Finn believes, however, his ability will shine through in 2009.

Kovalainen is convinced that last year's results ?? only one grand prix victory, three podium finishes, one pole position and a seventh place finish in the drivers' championship ?? did not reflect the work he put in on and off the race circuits.

"I think I put perhaps too much expectation on myself, and sometimes I was too hard on myself if I didn't get the pole position or didn't win the race," he said. "I think I had some good really races. Even compared to Lewis there were many positives even though he managed to score more points.."

Kovalainen's overall performance wasn't helped by three retirements, a crash at the Spanish GP which led to him being flown to hospital with a minor concussion, a stall on the grid at Monaco, a puncture at the Turkish GP and getting penalized five places in qualifying in Malaysia.

"I think first of all I have to finish more races," said the 27-year-old Finn. "It is going to be the key without any incidents, any problems, to score more points on Sundays is the number one issue.

"And then just to work with the team, I don't believe there are any magic tricks or any special area that I really need to improve. I hope we can improve every area and the results should be better."

Kovalainen doesn't believe that having a world champion in the team will put more pressure on him to support Hamilton who became the youngest ever winner of the drivers' championship at age 23.

"Certainly the attention is more on Lewis, but I don't feel even if I had more attention it would be a problem for my work," said Kovalainen.

"It is just good to have a strong teammate, a good teammate.

"He is a quick driver, he is a very good character, we get on well with each other and together we can push the team forward. That is the most important thing."


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