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Kovalainen expects Virgin threat to grow

Heikki KovalainenHeikki Kovalainen is expecting the battle between Lotus and Virgin to be quickest of the new teams to close up in the remaining races of the season.

Lotus had established itself dominant among Formula 1's three new outfits this season, but the team's decision to stop developing its car in favour of concentrating fully on its 2011 challenger means it is expecting Virgin to catch up.

Timo Glock qualified 19th for today's Hungarian Grand Prix, ahead of both Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli - the first time Lotus has not been the quickest new team in qualifying since the Chinese GP in April.

"It was always going to be close with Virgin because we have stopped developing the car and they are still carrying on," Kovalainen told AUTOSPORT.

"I'm not concerned. We're not too worried about it. We did a good job in qualifying, especially my car crew after missing a practice session yesterday because we found the set-up and had a decent balance, so I'm happy about that."

Kovalainen predicts a tight battle between the two teams today, and admitted that the high temperatures in Hungary could be a worry for Lotus.

"It's difficult to predict - it will be a close fight but I'm not afraid of the Virgins," he added.

"[The heat] is still a question mark for us and still a concern. We can never be 100 per cent confident given the record that we have, but if we have hot conditions it will be tough for all of the cars, so everybody will be on the limit. So far, we are within the targets on cooling."

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