Heikki Kovalainen was left bullish following Team Lotus' final day of testing at Valencia.
With Tony Fernandes' outfit opting to run Wednesday to Friday, as opposed to Tuesday to Thursday like everyone else, they were the only people on track yesterday, but they made good use of it and sorted the power steering problems that dogged them on their first two days.
“Valencia was an excellent test for me. Even though we had some issues with the power steering on the first couple of days you have to remember we weren't even at the first two tests last year,” said Kovalainen. “Now we have a car that was ready to go with everyone else at the first test and to be able to run today without any problems is great.
“We have been able to start looking at the balance of the car in much more detail and I've had the same feeling that I did on day one – I think we have a good car for this year and as we continue to work on it here and at the other pre-season tests we can put some proper mileage on it without the reliability worries we had last year.
“On the car itself one of the most tangible improvements from last year is the lower centre of gravity we have this year. It's a smaller chassis and we can place ballast under it much more effectively, which means the whole car feels balanced in a way we didn't experience last year.
“Now, I can turn in without having to constantly correct oversteer or understeer and as the whole rear end has been designed with the Renault engine and Red Bull gearbox in mind, it is aerodynamically much more efficient. It's basically a very good platform for us to develop, and to be able to feel that immediately is a very positive sign for me and the whole team for the season ahead.”
Team-mate Jarno Trulli, who also ran on Friday, and who was fractionally quicker, meanwhile concurred things looks promising: “It was a great day for the whole team. We completed 91 laps [in total] with basically no problems and we've been able to start to get a feel for the car which was really what this test was about,” he added.
“I agree with Heikki about the balance – it feels like we have a good car to work on in the next few tests and I think that we can pretty quickly get it to a point where it will give us a chance to fight with the teams ahead.
“The next test is only a few days away but I think there will be a lot more to come there in performance terms, and it will be good to get back in the car in Jerez and get more mileage under our belts.”