Jun.25 (GMM) Heikki Kovalainen arrived in Valencia on Friday with just hours to spare before morning practice.
We reported on Thursday that the Finn had been absent in the paddock on Thursday, with his team Lotus staging a pitlane photoshoot for the marque’s 500th race without him.
Like many figures in the world of formula one, he was held up on the way to the Spanish port city by air traffic controller strikes in France.
Kovalainen had sat at Geneva airport for many hours waiting for his flight delay to end, before deciding to commence the 1,200km trip by road.
Before outpacing his teammate Jarno Trulli in both 90 minute practice sessions, he confirmed he had arrived in Valencia shortly after 5am.
And before donning his green overalls, his first duty was a “few hours sleep”, but still looked tired when he pulled on his balaclava at 10am.
“I feel fine,” he insisted. “It’s just one night with a little less sleep than usual, so it’s no big deal. My physio Petri and I shared the driving, so I feel absolutely fine.”