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Jerez day four - Kovalainen heads two-car field 19 Mar 2009

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 Formula One Testing, 18 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams FW31 Formula One Testing, 18 March 2009, Jerez, Spain.

With just McLaren and Williams still testing at Jerez, it was the former’s Heikki Kovalainen who set the pace at the Spanish circuit on Wednesday. Kovalainen’s best time of 1m 18.202s put the Finn almost two seconds clear of Kazuki Nakajima, as they completed 85 and 103 laps respectively.

Taking over from team mate Lewis Hamilton, Kovalainen evaluated new aerodynamic modifications for the MP4-24. In perfect weather conditions, McLaren described the test as ‘extremely productive’, both in terms of evaluating the lap time potential of the new components and their effectiveness over the course of a simulated race stint.

With dry, sunny conditions and only a light wind, Nakajima worked on final preparations of the FW31 ahead of the 2009 season, including set-up tuning, aero work, reliability checks and tyre testing.

Both McLaren and Williams will conclude testing at Jerez on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren MP4-24, 1:18.202
2. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams FW31, 1:20.023