Heikki Kovalainen had admitted that the new Lotus F1 needs to be realistic with its goals for the 2010 season after revealing the T127 at an event in London.
The former Renault and McLaren driver will join Jarno Trulli in the Lotus line-up this season as the F1 newcomers elect to go with experience for its debut campaign, with the two drivers set to hit the track for the first time at Jerez next week.
Speaking to Crash.net
at the launch, Kovalainen admitted he couldn't wait to get back behind the wheel of an F1 machine and said the test would play a key role in helping the team to set its targets for the season ahead.
“It can't come soon enough,” he said. “It is a long time since I was in a car and I haven't done any kind of motorsport since then so I need to get my eye in a little bit again but I am looking forward to it. I feel I have a good relationship with the team now and I want to start working with them. Touch wood, the car will be reliable and we can put miles on the car right away and then put more performance on it. That would be fantastic.
“After testing, we need to set a clear goal of where we want to be in terms of positions and set a target that we think we can achieve. To predict more than that would be difficult at the moment and could be wrong, but I always prepare with the focus on winning a race and winning the world title.
“However, being realistic, the car has been built in five months and the team isn't at full capacity so it would be waste of time to think like that now. I think we need to set clear goals when we know roughly where will be and then push everyone to achieve that in the first year.”
Despite Lotus being a much smaller team than those he has worked with in the past, Kovalainen added that the workforce put together in recent months was working well to get Lotus ready for the new campaign.
“To see the team growing and getting stronger has been a great experience and I have tried to be involved as much as possible,” he said. “So far, there are no regrets; I am pleased with how it has gone and I can't wait to start testing.
“I feel very positive in this team and the way it operates is very similar to my old teams as the people involved have come from other teams and have been working in F1 last year so there are no rusty people, Everyone is up to speed and things have been moving forwards and although the team is smaller, I feel efficiency has been impressive. I know the people involved and have spent a lot of time with them to make sure I get everything out of the team.”