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F1 NEWS 

Kovalainen determined to race in 2007

Heikki Kovalainen is determined to return to racing following a year working as a test driver for world champions Renault.

The Finn is one of the possible candidates to land the second seat at the French squad next year, but rumours have recently linked compatriot Kimi Raikkonen with the vacant job.

Renault announced this month that they had extended Giancarlo Fisichella's contract for 2007, leaving only one seat open.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore said last year that Kovalainen, runner-up in last year's GP2 championship, was likely to race with the French squad.

"We have invested a lot in him and he is an asset that we have to look after," Briatore said in December. "We want him to drive 30-40 thousand kilometers next year to be ready to race in 2007. It is 90 percent likely that will be with Renault, and 10 percent with another team."

Kovalainen has admitted he is still unsure about his future, but the Finn knows he is not interested in testing for another season.

"At the moment I still don't have a contract with Renault but with Flavio Briatore's Management company," Kovalainen told Autosprint. "But my priority is to stay where I am. I know the team and the people. It would be a shame to throw away all the work done so far.

"What I know is that I wouldn't accept another year as test driver. I worked hard for this and I was happy to do it, but I planned to stay away from racing for just one season. Now I want to race."

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