F1 race winner Heikki Kovalainen brought the new Lotus Racing F1 team's test at Jerez to a premature conclusion on Thursday following what the team described as a 'small off'.

After test and reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy managed over 300 kilometres on day one, it was Kovalainen's turn at the wheel today. Initially it went well for the Finn until a small mistake saw him leave the track and knock off the front wing.

A lack of spare parts meant he was unable to continue and he finished the day at the bottom of the timesheets on a 1 minute 33.554 seconds, having done just 30 laps.

"I'm disappointed the day came to an early end," said the Finn, "but I feel good about the team and I'm looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow. My initial feeling from the car is good - it fundamentally feels right."

Lotus team boss Tony Fernandes was philosophical about Kovalainen's error: "Still a great day in many ways. You get the highs and the lows and you get the reality but overall I'm happy," he added. "The team is very motivated, there's a lot of good morale and, while it's unfortunate Heikki went off, these things happen.

"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."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne meanwhile confirmed that extra parts are already on the way out to Jerez.

"Fortunately we've got spare parts arriving this evening," Gascoyne continued. "It's just unfortunate that a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do today.

"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."


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