July.17 – Heikki Kovalainen says Team-Lotus target of racing with F1’s midfield and point finish from the beginning of the year was too hopeful, as the team go on to struggle to latch onto the tail-enders of the established teams. Having won the battle of the new teams last year, Lotus came into 2011 hoping to be regularly in Q2 and scoring points, while chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne was even targetting Renault in the latter half of the year. But so far they’ve only qualified inside the top 17 on three occasions and have finished no higher than 13th in the races.
“I think they [the targets] were too optimistic,” Kovalainen told Manipe F1. “With the tools we have at the moment, we can’t expect to be fighting with the middle of the pack or with teams like Renault or Mercedes. We’re not there this year, we clearly don’t have the structure in place yet to be able to do that. I think the targets were too optimistic but I haven’t worried about that too much.”
And the other thing, Kovalainen feels Lotus could benefit from upgrading is the team’s facilities, which he says are behind those of the teams they would like to be challenging.
“I think it’s not good enough yet, it’s one area that we need to improve for the future,” he added. “We know that because the main reason is that the facility that we have is not good enough yet, it’s not big enough.”
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