Kovalainen runs for Minardi

Renault Development Driver Heikki Kovalainen took his turn at the wheel on the second day of Minardi's test at Vallelunga today (Thursday).

Kovalainen runs for Minardi

After yesterday's running was disrupted by persistent rain, cold but clear weather allowed the team to do some serious running. The Finn was joined by Jose-Maria Lopez, with Fabrizio Del Monte also given a few laps to experience an F1 car in the dry.

"I think it was a good day," said Kovalainen. "After a handful of laps, I managed to set a reasonable time and felt I was near the limit. In the afternoon, we completed our driving programme on schedule, and I think we found some improvement. Obviously, I was becoming more confident with my driving all the time, as well as with my braking. All told, it was a positive experience."

Minardi sporting director John Walton was impressed with both Kovalainen and Lopez. "Heikki and Jose-Maria both did excellent jobs," he said. "They produced consistent lap times, were very evenly matched, and provided useful feedback to the engineers. They got through a massive amount of work between them, which helped in a big way with our test programme. We were extremely impressed with both of them."

The Italian team concludes its test tomorrow, with Gianmaria Bruni, Norbert Siedler and Narain Karthikeyan scheduled to drive.

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