Heikki Kovalainen is confident that Team Lotus' newly launched car justifies his decision to join the outfit.

After a disappointing two-year tenure with McLaren, the Finn switched to Lotus just as the small Tony Fernandes-led team entered Formula One in 2010.

It was a difficult season at the back of the grid, but Team Lotus is confident the T128 car is much better.

"In terms of speed, the car looks a lot better than where we were a year ago," Kovalainen told Finland's Turun Sanomat.

"When comparing the feeling in the garage and the progress of one year, it's like night and day," added the 29-year-old. "I'm really happy with it."

As for the car, the "balance is better and there is more grip, and it can be driven harder.

"The chassis is much more modern. Engine, gearbox and hydraulics have also been completely upgraded and are now at the level of a modern F1 car".

Hopes are high that Team Lotus could join the midfield fight in 2011.

"I don't think about whether we are going to catch up with Toro Rosso, Force India or Sauber. My personal goal is to get some points in those races in which it is possible.

"As a team we have definitely taken a step forward, which I expected. I am more convinced than ever that the move to Lotus was a good decision," added Kovalainen.

Source: GMM/Motorsport.com