Kovalainen must perform to keep seat

It is up to Heikki Kovalainen to prove he belongs in the McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton beyond 2009. That is the message given by Norbert Haug, competition chief of the British team's engine partner Mercedes-Benz. The German has recently...

It is up to Heikki Kovalainen to prove he belongs in the McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton beyond 2009.

That is the message given by Norbert Haug, competition chief of the British team's engine partner Mercedes-Benz.

The German has recently been hinting at a change for next year, coinciding with speculation that Williams' Nico Rosberg is a prime candidate.

When asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport about 27-year-old Kovalainen's seat, Haug answered: "Formula one is a hard competition.

"Heikki knows that it is all about performance. We are looking at each race finish and at each tenth," he said.

It is understood that no firm decisions about the future have yet been taken.

On form so far, Kovalainen is usually outpaced by the sister car driven by Hamilton, and he is often accused of making errors at crucial moments, such as within sight of a rare points finish at Monaco.

Haug however said it is too early in the season to be seriously discussing drivers.

"We are concentrating only on making the car faster," he added. "That is the biggest problem."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Williams