Sivu 57

With the help of a small team of consultants and his girlfriend Catherine hyde, Kovalainen's career is in good hands. hyde travels with him and takes care of travel arrangements and paperwork. Last year Kovalainen was ranked 20th in the world. still, he looks back on it as his best season. his goal this season is to win a point ­ in other words, to finish in 10th position a couple of times. At the moment F1 is his top priority, but Kovalainen has also thought about life beyond the fast lane. "I'd like to continue to be involved in sports ­ whether it be by driving rally or playing golf more seriously. I also want to get married and have children someday, but neither of us is ready for that yet." In person, it's easy to understand thousands of Twitter-followers. Kovalainen has the rare quality of seeming down to earth and authentic to the core. "I just try to be myself. some people like it, some don't ­ but they all follow," he says with his blue eyes twinkling. A lEGAcY OF f1NNISh drIvErS A drIvE to rEAch great speeds seems to be part of the Finnish DNA; many of the country's most internationally acclaimed athletes have been Formula 1 drivers. KeKe rosberg won the championship with the Williams team in 1982 (being the first F1 winner from the Nordic countries). MiKa HäKKinen won with McLaren­Mercedes in 1998 and 1999, (and finished second in 2000). KiMi räiKKönen won with Ferrari in 2007 (was second in 2003 and 2005 with McLaren-Mercedes). Just a normal training day in Finland... FEBRUARY 2011 BLUE WINGS 57 ENG

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