Lotus pleased with Kovalainen’s “brilliant job”

2013 United States Grand Prix

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Heikki Kovalainen passed his first test as a Lotus driver with flying colours, ending the first day fifth fastest overall.

Lotus technical director Nick Chester said the team were impressed by his first day as a substitute for Kimi Raikkonen.

“We feel he’s done a brilliant job today, particularly with all the procedures and getting used to driving a new car,” said Chester.

“We felt it might take a little bit of time but actually straight away in P1 he was already looking after the car very well. He got into P2, fifth quickest, good long runs, I think he’s done a great job today.”

Kovalainen described his first day in the car as “pretty smooth”.

“We?ve had no major issues on track today and we just need to keep chipping away to see how good we can get the car for tomorrow and Sunday.

“We lost a bit of track time in the morning, but the car balance was reasonably good straight away. I was able to settle in and work immediately on the set-up and tyre work.

“All the procedures and routines are quite similar up and down the pit lane, plus I?m familiar with all the systems from driving with a Renault engine already this year and previously, so it was a pretty straightforward day.”

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42 comments on Lotus pleased with Kovalainen’s “brilliant job”

  1. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 16th November 2013, 11:01

    I know it’s just a little, but so far the replacement is very succesfull ! In the last races, GRO > RAI, now KOV > GRO, so the result is KOV > RAI ! If KOV will finish the race in a better position than GRO, some might wonder why Lotus did not hire KOV more time ago. Kinda justified to wonder. Also, makes one wonder if Ferrari did a good move by hiring back RAI… instead of somebody else, younger… like Hulk, for ex.

    • Andrei said on 16th November 2013, 12:20

      I don’t know if you’re being serious or just kidding, but following that logic, Gutiérrez > Alonso.

      • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 16th November 2013, 13:16

        OK, I was kidding a little, but mostly… serious, although not much about that “logic”. What I wanted to underline with that “logic” is that things are very relative in F1, that Kimi is not young anymore (and maybe shouldn’t be regarded anymore as a benchmark that easy)… and we can see some succesful replacements, although most people did not expect that. At least so far, Lotus has no reason to cry over RAI. That’s a fact.
        But you must be kidding indeed with that comparison between GUT and ALO. I’m comparing just team mates, while you’re comparing different cars too. Hulk is great, but my impression is that Sauber is quite on par with Ferrari for some races already, and mostly it wasn’t Hulk “genius” that raised Sauber’s game so much. So, I really think that now Sauber is on par with Ferrari, if not even better. Both Saubers finished 2nd FP in front of the Ferraris. Go figure.
        Goind back to KOV, at least so far, he got the best lap time with a Lotus.

        • Andrei said on 16th November 2013, 13:52

          We can’t call a replacement succesfull because a driver made a better lap time than another during practices: while one driver is tweeking the car with the tank almost empty with the option tyres, the another one maybe is making race simulation with the tank full and the hardest tyres and viceversa. You can’t compare drivers during practices, because it doesn’t decide anything. Also, they’re running without pressure. The comparison should be done during Sunday.

    • James (@speedking84) said on 16th November 2013, 14:31

      How is Kovalainen better than Grosjean, did you see their long run pace? Grosjean was a second to half a second quicker on the first ten laps of their long run, I suppose you could say KOV>GRO for qualifying pace and GRO>KOV for long run pace.

  2. Mr_Peabody said on 16th November 2013, 11:30

    Great to see Heikki back in a car, and a good one at that.

  3. Andrei said on 16th November 2013, 12:14

    I don’t know, practices doesn’t say anything about a driver or car performances. He made the most laps on the second practice, showing that he wants to extract the most of the car, and I hope he get’s a lot of points on Sunday for the goodness of Lotus. Having said that, I still think Lotus made the wrong decision hiring him for the job.

  4. Joshua said on 16th November 2013, 12:46

    Heikki should get the 2014 driver’s seat in my opinion. He’s a great driver!

  5. I really think we’re reading a bit too much into this. He was consistently half a second a lap slower on his long run than Grosjean, and the chances are his qualifying lap was pretty much on the lowest fuel (to give him practice).

    Stil, a good day at the office nonetheless, but my money is still heavily on Grosjean prevailing fairly comfortably.

  6. danclapp (@danclapp) said on 16th November 2013, 13:32

    Cant wait till Kimi Alo, next year its going to be embarrasing for Kim, if Kov is even close to on Gro pace, then wow. Beforeanyone blames it on Kimi’s back he as been slow v Gro even when Gro was going through hard times, Gro as always been n his pace in qually. Im starting to think Lotus is the fastest car, do we think Gro is faster than Alo, Ham and Ros? No course we dont so how is he beating them? That Lotus is faster than we think and it does not look goodon Kimi does it.

  7. zippyone (@zippyone) said on 16th November 2013, 14:41

    I hope he does well on Sunday and in Brasil, but even if he does brilliantly there is not much chance of him getting next years drive, is there? Would be nice to see though.

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