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Caterham shrugs off Heikki Kovalainen's engine blow-up in Monaco Grand Prix practice

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Monaco 2012Caterham's technical director Mark Smith downplayed the significance of Heikki Kovalainen's engine failure during first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Finn's session came to a halt some five minutes from the end when his Renault power unit blew up spectacularly while driving through the tunnel.

Smith said, however, that the engine was due to be replaced for Saturday and, with the problem happening at the end of the session, Kovalainen did not lose any track time.

"Even though Heikki's FP1 was cut short by the engine failure it was at the end of the session and we did not lose any track time as the session was red-flagged," said Smith.

"The new engine he ran in FP2 was due to go on his car tomorrow anyway, it had covered more than 2,000kms, so it really was not a big problem for us to see his morning session end that spectacularly!"

Kovalainen, 21st quickest in the afternoon, was pleased with the updates introduced by his team this weekend.

"This morning's session went pretty well," he said. "We tried a new suspension part early on that felt pretty good, and then we ran through a normal FP1 session on the primes until the engine let go as I was entering the tunnel towards the end of the session.

"As soon as I engaged neutral the rear axle locked up and that brought FP1 to a slightly early end."

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