Points finish Heikki’s Brazil target


Heikki Kovalainen hopes to finish his two-race stint with Lotus with a strong performance at the Brazlian Grand Prix…

Heikki Kovalainen hopes to finish his two-race stint with Lotus with a strong performance at the Brazlian Grand Prix.

The Finn qualified in eighth place but could only finish in 14th in Austin last week after he was forced to replace a front wing early in the race, while struggling with KERS throughout.

Despite the somewhat disappointing result, the former Renault driver believes there were plenty of positives that could be drawn from the race.

“Apart from the race it was an encouraging weekend in Austin, so I feel well prepared,” he said.

“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.

“I don’t think we could start the weekend much better than we did last time out, but we can sure finish it better! Let’s see what happens; my goal is to help the team achieve their target in the Constructors’ Championship, so I’ll be pushing right to the end.

“The E21 feels good and it gives you the confidence to attack straight away as you can lean on it pretty comfortably without it snapping away from you; it’s really a stable car. This was certainly one of the reasons why I was able to get up to speed pretty quickly. It’s really kind on tyres too and you really notice this on the longer stints. Overall, it’s a great car.”

The Finn was favoured ahead of Lotus reserve driver Davide Valsecchi because of his experience and ability to score points, and he added that his target for the season’s final race was clear.

“We’ll try to have a stronger Sunday and get a better result,” he continued.

“It was quite a smooth weekend up until the race in Austin, but in Brazil it could be a different story so let’s see how it goes. The main thing is to try and get a good result. The car is right up there – we saw that with Romain’s performance in Austin – and it’s really good to drive so the potential is there.

“Certainly, I don’t want to make any predictions. It could be a difficult weekend or it could be a great weekend; who knows? 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.”