Kovalainen encouraged by Austin comeback

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Heikki Kovalainen said he was encouraged by his debut race weekend with Lotus in Brazil even though he was unable to score any points.

“Apart from the race it was an encouraging weekend in Austin, so I feel well prepared,” said Kovalainen ahead of this weekend’s season finale in Brazil.

“The car is quick for sure. It’s fantastic to drive when things are going the right way, so if we can get on top of the issues we had in Austin then the potential is certainly there for a good result.”

Kovalainen’s return to F1 began with an encouraging showing in practice after which he qualified in the top ten. But he lost four places at the start in the race and finished outside the points.

“I don’t think we could start the weekend much better than we did last time out, but we can sure finish it better,” he said. “My goal is to help the team achieve their target in the constructors’ championship, so I’ll be pushing right to the end.”

Lotus are 18 points behind Ferrari, who are third in the constructors’ championship, heading into the final race of the year.

Kovalainen said Grosjean’s drive to second in Austin showed what the car was capable of. “We just need to work well with the car like we did in Austin, get up to speed quickly so we’re in good shape
going into qualifying, and try to avoid any issues in the race.”

“A better start with a stronger first lap will help too of course; if we put all these things together we should have a strong race.”