Heikki Kovalainen looks to continue what he describes as a 'positive season' this weekend at Suzuka in order to defend Lotus's tenth position in the constructor's championship.
Lotus arrive in Suzuka on the back of a solid run of results, most notably in Singapore after Kovalainen was able to beat Vitaly Petrov's Lotus Renault. A result all the more satisfying for Lotus being a Renault customer engine team.
Kovalainen, however, concedes that his team must realistically concentrate on continuing their role as the number one 'new team' for now at least.
"Hopefully, we can do another solid race." he said. "Obviously, we are defending the tenth position in the championship. For the team that is very important, so that's our primary goal and, of course myself, trying to stay ahead of the new cars at the back if you like. So far the season has been very positive for me so just carrying on doing that trend."
The Finn also admits that ultimately the gap between the midfield and themselves is still bigger than he would like Lotus turns its attentions to next year's car.
"For myself the gap to the car ahead of us at most of the circuits is still too big so we need to work on our car to make it quicker. At the moment the best we can do, and the best we can realistically hope for, is to be ahead of them and maintain the tenth in the championship and then look forward to the future.
"We are working on next year's car to improve overall performance so that's a work in progress and just keep the heads down and keep working."
by Simon Evans