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Kovalainen must raise the bar
After ten races this year, McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen has scored points on three occasions. With his two-year contract nearing its end, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has made clear the Finn must achieve better results if he wants to keep his place in the team next season.

are always made between teammates. Lewis Hamilton has collected points on four occasions so far, and prior to his Hungarian Grand Prix victory last month, the reigning champion's best performance had been a fourth-place result in Bahrain followed by a string of five no-score finishes.

Kovalainen has scored points on three occasions, his best result being fifth places in China and Hungary.

"Heikki is doing, as a team player, a fantastic job in this team," declared McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh during a Wednesday phone conference. He however pointed out that there was room left for improvement on the track.

"On his own evaluation he hasn't raced as well as he would have liked, and we would have liked him to, this year," he said, adding: "he's working hard.

"We are not in active discussions with any other drivers at the moment, but it's true to say that we haven't confirmed our driver line-up for next year," Whitmarsh mentioned.

"A lot of us want to see Heikki get some good results this year and that will ensure that he remains with us," he elaborated, showing he believes Kovalainen has what it takes to qualify well and possibly fight for victory on the streets of Valencia this Sunday.

Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that Nico Rosberg is eyeing a McLaren seat next year, and BMW's exit also puts Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld onto the driver's market.

"The speculation is normal of course," admitted Whitmarsh, who advised Kovalainen to ignore the rumours in order to concentrate solely on his performance.

"McLaren continues to have the strategy and the policy that will get the best two drivers we can in our cars every season, and that's what we're going to continue to do," Whitmarsh concluded.

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