Kovalainen spins off on first test run

FORMULA ONE: Heikki Kovalainen's maiden outing with Lotus Racing came to a premature end when he crushed the nose of his car in a tyre barrier at rain-soaked Jerez yesterday.

FORMULA ONE: Heikki Kovalainen's maiden outing with Lotus Racing came to a premature end when he crushed the nose of his car in a tyre barrier at rain-soaked Jerez yesterday. Kovalainen still managed 30 laps, although ended up bottom of the 12 drivers on the timesheets. He was 6.5secs behind Rubens Barrichello, who finished on top of the timesheets for Williams with the best of his day-high 98 laps a one minute 27.145secs. Commenting on his Twitter page, Kovalainen said: "Had a crash and damaged front wing, session over for us. My mistake. Tomorrow we go again."

Lotus' chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, said there were reasons to be positive. "Unfortunately a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do, but fortunately we've got spare parts arriving this evening," he said. "Up to that point we had got on top of some reliability issues from the previous day and the car was running very smoothly. Although we have lost some track time, the changing conditions made it very difficult, so we haven't lost too much and we'll be ready to continue with Heikki in the morning."

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