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Archive for January 9th, 2008

KOVALAINEN TESTING HIS NEW MP4/23 

Heikki Kovalainen completed his first official test session with his new McLaren Formula 1 team today.

McLaren shipped two of its 2008 cars in to Spain. Heikki Kovalainen and Pedro de la Rosa were the 2 drivers on duty. Pedro took to the track for the first time at 09:05, with Heikki leaving the garage in his MP4-23 at 14:19.

Pedro’s car was the chassis at the event in Stuttgart. It was completed at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking on Sunday afternoon before being transported to the launch. At 02:00am on the morning of Tuesday 8th, the car left Stuttgart airport for Jerez. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test team took receipt of the car early on Tuesday morning in Spain and spent the day preparing the MP4-23 for today’s running.

Heikki’s car left the McLaren Technology Centre on Tuesday 8th and travelled directly to Jerez, arriving at the earliest possible opportunity when the local airport opened at 06:00 this morning. During the course of the morning the test team worked to install the set-up on the car prior to Heikki taking to the track at 14:19.

Kovalainen commented after his first run at McLaren: “It was really great to get on track today with the MP4-23. It was my first session as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. I always really enjoy the first day a new car runs, there is always a very unique atmosphere, you know a little bit tense, a little bit excited. The first impressions of the new car are good. We have a comprehensive development schedule to work through over the next couple of months. The car’s performance today is definitely an encouraging starting point. Today was also my first real opportunity to meet the test team, which was good because we will be spending a lot of time together over the next few weeks!”

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