Kovalainen Confirms Lotus Stay in 2011

Heikki Kovalainen has done a great job in his first season with Lotus Racing F1, considering the package he had to work with throughout the 19 races on schedule. While constantly beating his much more experienced teammate Jarno Trulli, the Finn also scored Lotus' highest race position in 2010, a 12th place in the Japanese Grand Prix.

With the rate of success he had at Lotus this season (again, considering his position), it would be only natural for the team to keep him for another campaign. While Lotus' Mike Gascoyne confirmed his full support for Kovalainen in recent weeks, a reaction from the Finn was expected in order to see if he is also interested in continuing his collaboration with the best new team of 2010.

And Lotus' latest technical arrangements for 2011 – including their engine partnership with Renault and the use of Red Bull gearboxes from 2011 onwards – apparently convinced Heikki that Lotus should be his best option for next year.

That's why I chose this team. It was a risk at the time to go with an entirely new team, but I'm happy with the choice that I made and what we achieved this season,” said Kovalainen in a recent interview with Finland's Turun Sanomat, hinting that he had every confidence in Lotus's development rate when he first signed in for the job, back in 2009.

Expectations are high. It would be a disappointment if we did not make a step forward,” he added.

Lotus Racing are yet to announce their full lineup for 2011, but the latest info coming from Norfolk indicate that Kovalainen and Trulli will likely continue their collaboration with the team in 2011. The Italian's spot was the only one in question, but it appears Gascoyne prefers the same lineup for next year, when the team will aim for at least the 9th place in the constructors' standings.
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