With Interlagos ahead, Lotus's Kovalainen mystified by difficult afternoon in Austin

Heikki talks about Austin and Interlagos.

After a highly promising start to the weekend, it would eventually prove a somewhat subdued race return for Heikki as the chequered flag fell at the Circuit of the Americas; leaving the Finn determined to bounce back at the final round in São Paulo…

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 Team
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 Team

Photo by: XPB Images

A tough day all round it seems; talk us through it? My start wasn’t great. I struggled a little to get the settings right on the warm-up lap and ended up with wheel spin off the line which lost me a few positions, but then it was going okay until the first pit stop as I was racing with the pack and the car was feeling quite good. I was stuck behind a few slower cars, but it wasn’t too bad. After the stop however I started to have a few problems and it went a bit downhill from there. I knew it could be one way or the other today and in the end it was not such a good end to the weekend, but it is what it is.

What was the issue? It was difficult to know exactly what was going on, as it felt like I just started losing front grip. We had issues with downforce so we changed the front wing and after that it was much better, although still not as good as it had felt previously this weekend. I’m not sure if it was the car or if the driver was just a little rusty! There was a KERS issue too about halfway through the race, though not enough to account for my lack of race pace. We’ll have a good look at the data and hopefully be on top of things far better for the race in Brazil.

Positives heading to Brazil? Apart from the race it’s been an encouraging weekend, so I feel well prepared for the next one 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 these issues then the potential is certainly there for a good result. I don’t think we could start the weekend much better than we did here, 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.

Lotus F1 Team

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Lotus F1 Team
Article type Interview
Tags interlagos, kovalainen, lotus