Formula 1 star pops in to restaurant at Norwich’s Chapelfield Mall

PUBLISHED: 08:11 02 December 2011 | UPDATED: 13:53 02 December 2011

Heiki Kovalainen with Wagamama Chapelfield manager Emma Gooch.

Heiki Kovalainen with Wagamama Chapelfield manager Emma Gooch.


Diners and staff at Wagamama Restaurant in Chapelfield got a shock tonight as a Formula 1 star popped in for a bite to eat.

Team Lotus’ Heiki Kovalainen sat down with family and colleagues and tucked into a teriyaki chicken donburi.

Restaurant manager, Emma Gooch, said: “What an awesome bloke.

“I’m quite a fan of F1, I plucked up the courage to speak to him and said ‘don’t I normally see you driving a green car?’, he laughed about it and was happy to do photos, we have some avid fans in our staff. He was lovely.

“It wasn’t just diners, half the kitchen were excited.”

Mr Kovalainen had been at the Lotus factory in Norfolk to have his race car seat measured and fitted.

He tweeted around 6pm, saying: “Seat fit today in the factory, mock up car looks good and all went well. Now off to dinner in Norfolk.”

He tweeted three hours later, saying: “Nice dinner in Wagamama in Norwich, warm welcome by a friendly crew!”

Mr Kovalainen tweets as H_Kovalainen.

•Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey grew up in Norwich. The BBC star attended The Hewett School.

Mr Humphrey, who tweets as @jakehumphreyf1, tweeted on Wednesday, saying: “So, Bruce has left Sunderland. Not the biggest sports headline of 2011, but it is when you’re a Norwich fan with a genius boss! #paullambert.”

You can follow a number of Evening News and EDP reporters on Twitter. Although none of us have quite the 386,316 strong following of Jake Humphrey or the 107,480 of Heiki Kovalainen, here are a few you still might like to follow:

@josephwilkes – reporter Joe Wilkes

@David_Powles – senior content editor David Powles

@ReporterVic – Victoria Leggett, education correspondent

@richardwoodEDP – Local life editor Richard Wood

@ChrisHill75 – rural affairs Correspondent Chris Hill

@davefreezer – reporter Dave Freezer

@JournoKim – Kim Briscoe, health correspondent

@EDPchrislakey – head of sport Chris Lakey

@michaeljbailey – sports writer Michael Bailey

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