Kovalainen encouraged by Lotus pace

Heikki Kovalainen was encouraged by the competitiveness of his Lotus team despite failing to finish the Malaysian Grand Prix

Kovalainen encouraged by Lotus pace

"It was still a very positive race for us, despite the issues," said the Finn, who had finished the first two races of the season.

"My start wasn't fantastic and it meant I dropped immediately to the back. After that I got into a good rhythm, but started to see some issues on the dash.

"I tried to make a move on di Grassi, but clipped his front wing when I was going past and damaged my left rear tyre, so had to come in to pit.

"Even with the problems we had the car was competitive and I was very comfortable. Compared to the other new teams our times are very competitive indeed, so I'm not going to let this race trouble me - we learned a lot and now we'll move on and look ahead to China," he added.

Team-mate Jarno Trulli went on to finish in 15th position after making contact early on with Virgin's Timo Glock.

"We made a good start, but then on the second lap I was hit by Glock, which made me spin, and from then on my race was compromised," said the Italian.

"Despite that I got the car home to the end and that shows our focus on reliability has been worth the effort."

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