With his speed and ambition not in doubt, much of how Kovalainen builds on that debut could depend on McLaren’s 2008 form. The team were championship runners-up in all but name last year, and before the Ferrari ‘spy scandal’ were in prime place to take a historic ninth constructors’ title. But in Formula One racing performance one season is no guarantee of a similar level the next - a maxim the Finn knows better than most, having experienced Renault’s fall from grace in 2007. And there is always a chance that McLaren’s promise to suspend development on certain parts, in the aftermath of the ‘Spygate’ scandal, could put the MP4-23 at a disadvantage.
Exactly what parts did they agree to not develop? It looks as if it may just be a walk away by Ferrari this year if this is the case. Especially with BMW/Williams/RBR all climbing rather quickly.