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Lotus has not banned Heikki Kovalainen from contesting rallies.

After emerging from his restrictive McLaren contract, the 28-year-old Finn hinted he would take advantage by doing a rally this winter.

The Arctic Lapland Rally was touted, but France's Auto Hebdo claimed Kovalainen had decided against it because he "does not have time to prepare seriously".

Finland's Turun Sanomat, confirming that Kovalainen's new Lotus contract does not forbid rally outings, asked the 2008 Hungarian GP winner about his decision.

"I would certainly have liked to have been out there, but if you do rallies, even for fun, you still need to do some preparation.

"It would have meant a couple of weeks for the project. At this stage, I preferred to spend the time at the (Lotus) factory," Kovalainen explained.


Gallery: No rally ban for Lotus' Kovalainen

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