Kovalainen Leads Championship

Arden's Heikki Kovalainen achieved his ambitions for the day by finishing on the podium in the second race at Imola, to take an early lead in the GP2 2005 Championship

Kovalainen Leads Championship

The Finn ran a blisteringly fast race to move up from eight on the grid to third at the chequered flag, which resulted in him leading the Championship standings by four points over Adam Carroll, 14 points to 10.

"It was okay today," Kovalainen smiled after the race. "I was quite fast and I just tried to stay away from the problems and get by some guys. I wasn't quite able to attack as much as I wanted because of a small problem with the brakes, but it was okay."

The toughest section of the race was when the Finn was stuck behind Racing Engineering's Neel Jani, who was clearly slower but able to stay in front for a number of laps.

Kovalainen was able to run inside of Jani twice at the chicane, with the Swiss driver running across the grass but bringing his car back in front both times before Kovalainen finally got by his rival when Jani ran off track under the pressure.

The Finn was blasé about Jani's moves at the chicane, noting: "He just let the brakes go and pushed over the chicane, while I held my car off the grass and kept on the track - he was just trying to hang on to the podium, but I was much faster so I knew I'd get him eventually."

While Kovalainen is pleased to have taken an early lead in the Championship he is refusing to get carried away with himself. "It doesn't really mean anything at this point in the Championship - it's nice, but really we just have to get to the next race and keep pushing."

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