F1

McLaren completes first MP4-23 shakedown tests

McLaren Mercedes Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen knocked off for the weekend Friday after a combined 793 kilometers (nearly 493 miles) of testing the team's latest car, the MP4-23. In so doing, they turned over...

McLaren Mercedes Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen knocked off for the weekend Friday after a combined 793 kilometers (nearly 493 miles) of testing the team's latest car, the MP4-23. In so doing, they turned over accumulated data to the team's engineering boffins for weekend scrutiny. The team reported "no major issues" with Friday's test.

Working in at-times showery weather at the 2.748-mile Circuito de Jerez, neither driver met his quickest time of Thursday's session. Hamilton turned a quick lap of 1 minute, 19.691 seconds and Kovalainen a 1:19.752. Hamilton ran a 1:19.132 Thursday and Kovalainen a 1:19.462.

Hamilton completed 86 laps Friday to Kovalainen's 79. The week's testing, which began Wednesday with Kovalainen and reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa, put just over 1,242 miles (1,999 kilometers) on the two MP4-23s in use. The team rolled out this year's model Jan. 7 in Germany.

De la Rosa and fellow tester Gary Paffett resume driving Monday with Hamilton and Kovalainen scheduled to return to the cockpits Tuesday and Wednesday. The team's private testing is set to conclude Wednesday.

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