Heikki Kovalainen has held his hand up for the spectacular crash that ruined his qualifying run in Montreal ahead of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, admitting he had simply been trying a little bit too hard.

The Finn ended the session down in 19th place on his maiden competitive outing around the challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and will likely have to start the race 22nd and last due to a penalty for changing the engine in his car. The qualifying error was the latest in a series of misfortunes to befall the 25-year-old over the course of the meeting so far, including a similar accident in Friday practice and an engine failure on Saturday morning.

"The first thing I want to say is thank you to my mechanics," the Renault ace stressed afterwards. "They have worked so hard all weekend, changing the chassis overnight and engine this morning and then making repairs during the first part of qualifying after I hit the wall. They have done a really incredible job, and I am just sorry I couldn't pay them back with a better qualifying performance.

"Yesterday I made a mistake in the second session, and the engine failure this morning cost me a lot of track time too. The first time I went out on the super-soft tyres was in qualifying, so I wasn't 100 per cent confident with the car to be able to attack as I wanted to. I guess that's been the story of my weekend.

"I also went into the session knowing I would have an engine penalty, but I was determined to push right to the limit to get as far up the grid as I could. Maybe I was trying too hard on the first run. I hit the kerb hard in turn four on my timed lap and lost the rear end, which damaged the wing and the floor. The team repaired as much as they could, but it was hard to have full confidence in the car after that. I hoped I had done enough to get through to the second round, but it wasn't to be.

"In any case our car is so good at the moment we should have got through Q1 regardless, almost without even turning up this morning. I can't make excuses or blame anyone but myself."

Kovalainen admitted he would be facing a long Sunday afternoon from where he will start the race, but he acknowledged Montreal's reputation as a car-breaker and remains hopeful all is not yet lost.

"It's been a very eventful weekend for me," he admitted, "but I don't feel under any extra pressure because of what has happened. I've had a difficult past couple of weekends, but I have to stay positive and keep my head up. I still feel confident in myself.

"There is no point pretending it won't be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but we knew I would be starting a long way back and adjusted the set-up accordingly. I will have to be aggressive all through the race, and try to make up as many positions as I can.

"It was a big disappointment for everybody, but if we have the right strategy I think anything is possible. We will need a bit of luck, but our car is competitive here and if everything goes perfectly we can score points. I'm definitely going to go for it."

 

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