F1 Driver Review: Heikki Kovalainen

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After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

Filling in at Lotus for the final two races of 2013 was veteran driver Heikki Kovalainen…

HEIKKI KOVALAINEN

No. 7 Lotus-Renault (two races)
2013 Stats: 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10s, 0 Laps Led (Best Finish: 14th, United States and Brazil)
Average Start: 9.5
Average Finish: 14.0
DNFs: 4

DiZinno says: Heikki Kovalainen did very well to get into Q3 at Austin in his substitute role for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus, and had it not been for needing a front wing change he could well have scored points. Brazil was a more difficult weekend by comparison. With only two races to observe, it’s hard to call his 2013 anything other than “incomplete.”

Estrada says: It’s an admittedly small sample of races to judge Kovalainen on, and his first race for Lotus at Austin was marred by front wing and KERS issues. But the season finale at Brazil saw him unable to get on pace. In the end, the team brought him in to bolster its bid for second in the Constructors’ title race and he didn’t get the job done. Whether that will have an impact on him gaining a ride for 2014 remains to be seen.

Plans revealed for upgraded Circuit Gilles Villeneuve pit complex

Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau
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Plans for the upgraded pit and paddock complex at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, have been unveiled ahead of their completion in time for the 2019 Formula 1 race.

The Canadian Grand Prix signed a new long-term F1 contract running to 2029 earlier this year, with a commitment to improving the outdated pit facilities at the circuit, built in 1988.

In a press conference earlier this week, further details and artist renderings were revealed for the CA$48 million project by the Société Parc Jean‑Drapeau.

A new glass structure will become the main pit complex, covering three levels to accommodate the teams, media and hospitality guests.

The construction work will commence at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in July 2018 – one month after next year’s Canadian Grand Prix – and be completed two months prior to the 2019 race.

Photo: Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau
Photo: Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau