New McLaren-Mercedes driver Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that the team will be able to move on the from spying saga that overshadowed the 2007 Formula 1 season and resulted in the Woking-based squad being excluded from the constructors' championship standings.

Kovalainen, who will replace Fernando Alonso for the new season after the pair effectively switched teams, was quizzed on the issue by reporters ahead of the Race of Champions event in London, in what will be his first public appearance at a McLaren driver.

The young Finn was asked whether or not the whole incident - and the further revelations made by the team this week that that Ferrari information was more widely disseminated within the team than previously communicted - had given him any cause for concern ahead of signing his new contract.

"Before I signed the contract, of course I asked about the issue and all I know is that it is not going to affect our performance next year," he said. "That was enough information for me.

"I haven't been involved in that case and to be honest I don't know the details, so it is quite difficult to comment on it. For me, and for McLaren as well, the intention is to make everything clear as soon as possible and leave everything behind. We want to make sure everyone is happy about the situation and move on.

"I think we can do it and I think the team is able to leave it behind and for the whole sport, it is better if we can move on. Of course it is a serious matter, and of course we have people dealing with it in the FIA and in my team, so I think we will be able to sort the problem out and move on."



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