Kovalainen crash brings Lotus test to halt


A minor crash from Heikki Kovalainen brought Lotus Racing's second day of testing to a premature end, although the team are positive about their progress.

The Finn managed just 30 laps in the Lotus Cosworth T127 before making a mistake, which saw him leave the track and break his front wing. The team didn't have a spare, and were unable to do any further running.

Heikki accepted full responsibility for his accident on his twitter feed. “Had a crash and damaged front wing, session over for us. S..t! My mistake, tomorrow we go again…” However, he was pleased with his first run in the new car. “My initial feeling from the car is good – it fundamentally feels right. I'm disappointed the day came to an early end, but feel good about the team and I'm looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”

Technical director Mike Gascoyne was pleased that minor reliability issues yesterday had been fixed, and was not overly disappointed by today's lack of running. “Unfortunately a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do today, but fortunately we've got spare parts arriving this evening. 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.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes his first visit to Jerez to see the team in action and was also not too disappointed by Kovalainen's accident. “Still a great day in many ways. You get the highs and the lows and you get the reality but overall I'm happy. The team is very motivated, there's a lot of good morale and, while it's unfortunate Heikki went off, these things happen.”

The team boss also wanted to thank the public for supporting the reincarnation of the Lotus brand in Formula 1. “Something else I'm very pleased with is the reaction from the public to Lotus Racing. We're going out there to tell the world what we're up to and, judging by the phenomenal Twitter response we have had, we have already made an impact on the fans.”

Kovalainen will return to the car tomorrow, and teammate Jarno Trulli will have his first test of the new car on Saturday.