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Kovalainen Missing in Valencia Due to French Strikes

Heikki Kovalainen was not able to prepare properly for this weekend's European Grand Prix at Valencia, as the Finnish driver was delayed on his way to the Spanish port city by the strikes currently happening in France.

According to several recent reports, the strikes in France are held by the air traffic controllers, who are against the proposed reforms to the French pension system. Consequently, all the flights from or traveling through France have been delayed, which left Kovalainen looking for another means of transportation to reach the city of Valencia.

Eventually, the Lotus F1 driver engaged in a 1,200km road trip to Valencia, which saw him miss the paddock on Thursday (as his presence was not noticed). The same problems were encountered by Mercedes GP duo Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher, who also reached Valencia later than expected due to the French strikes.

However, in a late press release issued by the Brackley based team, it was confirmed that both have reached Valencia.

Kovalainen will however have to get back into shape as soon as possible, as the European Grand Prix kicks off in approximately one hour with the first 90-minute practice session on the Valencia circuit. His team will be looking to further close the gap on the mid-runners this weekend, following some encouraging performances in Canada.

Two weekends ago, Kovalainen was close to out-qualify an “established” car for the first time this season, but he was eventually thrown back into 19th place by BMW Sauber Ferrari's Kamui Kobayashi. However, the gap between those two was a little over two tenths of a second.
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