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Former F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen announces the end of SUPER GT participation[F1-Gate .com]

Former F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has announced that he will end his race in SUPER GT for personal reasons only this season.

Heikki Kovalainen, who made his F1 debut in Renault in 2006 and won the 2008 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix during the McLaren era, went to SUPER GT in Japan in 2015 after a long F1 career including Lotus / Caterham. Started participating in the war.

Heikki Kovalainen, who belonged to LEXUS TEAM SARD, partnered with Kohei Hirate to win his first SUPER GT victory in 2016 and won the GT500 championship at the Lexus RC F. In 2017, he drove the Lexus LC500, in 2018 he became a teammate with Kamui Kobayashi, and in 2020 he drove the GR Supra. In 2021, he never won or won the podium for the first time since the rookie season.

Heikki Kovalainen has released a video on Youtube. It has announced that it will end its participation in SUPER GT only this season, citing spending time with family as the main reason for the strict travel restrictions on the new coronavirus in Japan.

“We finished the final round of the Super GT series at Fuji on Sunday and finished in 4th place,” said Heikki Kovalainen.

“It was a pretty good result. It was the best result of the season. I’m glad I was able to finish the season with a solid and strong race.”

“But at the same time it was the last race in SUPER GT. I decided to leave the SUPER GT series that I had been in for 7 years.”

“In fact, when I spent a few days with my wife in Finland earlier this year, I decided to be the last season.”

“There are several reasons for that. Of course, this season was tough for us. It wasn’t as competitive as we wanted and we couldn’t get results.”

“It can be difficult to race in the middle or behind the puck, but that’s not the main reason.”

“The real main reason is the coronavirus. I’ve spent most of my time in Japan over the last two years due to travel restrictions. Japan’s border control is pretty strict.”

“I can enter and leave the country with a work visa, but my wife couldn’t, so I was forced to leave my family and wife for a while. I wasn’t prepared to do so again next year. That’s the main part of this decision. That’s why.

“I would like to thank SARD Racing for seven years. SARD Racing and the entire SARD Company have become a family for me. I am also grateful for the support of President Kato.”

“I am also grateful to Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda for his support. Over the course of seven seasons, he was actually a petrol head, a great driver, always very supportive and very friendly. Thank you for all the good intentions. “

“I will never forget traveling to Japan with Toyota. It’s a big part of my career. In fact, I’ve been in F1 for seven years so it’s the same length and it’s an important part of my career.”

“When one chapter is closed, another is open. I’m still passionate about motorsport and can’t get rid of it completely. You may know that I’ve done several rallies this year. No, but my passion for the rally is really growing. I’ve always been really interested in it. I know I can’t be a WRC champion anymore, but I want to do a little more and improve. “

“The plan for the next season is to rally in Japan, centered on the rally program. Rally schedule It’s much easier than the SUPER GT schedule, and there are fewer tests and events, so you don’t have to stay in Japan all the time. I also have time to spend time with my family, especially my wife. ”

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Category: Category: F1 / Heikki Kovalainen / SUPER GT

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