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Track rod failure halts Caterham

ESPNF1 Staff
February 21, 2012 « Rosberg 'confident' he'll beat Schumacher | Schumacher feels 'potential' in W03 »
Heikki Kovalainen caused a red flag when he stopped after two hours of the morning session © Sutton Images
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A rear track rod failure limited Heikki Kovalainen to just 31 laps on the first day of testing at Barcelona, Caterham has confirmed.

Kovalainen had covered just nine laps when his car came to a halt during the morning session, causing a red flag. Having looked at the rear of the car it was returned to the pits, where Caterham was able to fix it with 40 minutes of the day to run. Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said that the team would be working to ensure the issue doesn't reoccur, and is confident it can make up the lost time.

"We had a rear track rod failure on Heikki's third run this morning which brought him to a halt on track," Gascoyne said. "As soon as we had the car back in the garage we identified the issue and managed to fix it on site, and we have more parts coming out tonight to make sure we don't have the same problem again. We know that this car is fundamentally reliable, so the aim for the next three days is to complete the plan for this test and put ourselves back on schedule."

Kovalainen admitted there wasn't much he could take from the day, but echoed Gascoyne's confidence that the team would recover.

"That obviously wasn't how we wanted day one here to go, but that's what testing is for - pushing everything to the limit to make sure we get rid of the problems before we get to the first race," he said. "It's hard to learn a lot from limited laps, but I'm back in the car on Friday and I'm sure we'll be able to push on with the program between now and then and make sure we get as much as we can out of the next three days on track."