Heikki Kovalainen will be hoping for further success as the Formula 1 paddock makes the short trip from Japan to China this weekend for the penultimate round of the year.

The Renault driver heads to Shanghai buoyed by his best result to date in F1 after his fine drive to second place behind Lewis Hamilton in difficult conditions at Fuji and will now aim to strengthen his seventh place in the championship standings - while also closing the gap to sixth placed Robert Kubica.

However, as another new circuit for the Finn, Kovalainen admits that it will vital to get down to business as soon as possible to learn as much as he can going into the weekend.

"Fuji was a good reward for me, but also the whole team," he said. "After a difficult start to the year, I think it was good for everyone in the team to have this small success, which is something they were used to during the past two seasons when they won the world titles. It is a good boost to the morale to try and finish the season in the best way possible.

"Shanghai is another one of the new F1 races, and like in Japan there is a very special atmosphere. The spectators are still learning about the sport, and they are very enthusiastic. The whole Grand Prix week in Shanghai will be enjoyable but at the track, I want to get into a good rhythm as soon as possible on Friday and make the most of each practice session, because I have never driven here before."

Kovalainen added that he has been busy doing his homework ahead of the event, liking the circuit to the one found in Bahrain at the start of the season and leaving him determined to try and add to his points tally.

"I have been watching and working from the recordings of past races, especially the on-board camera views, and I would say that the circuit is a bit like Bahrain," he said. "There are some long straights, quick changes of direction and some heavy braking areas. At this kind of circuit, you need a very good aero balance on the car to be quick through the fast, flowing sections. We pay a lot of attention to achieving good braking stability because you can gain a lot of time there.

"The important thing will be to work well on Friday, to find the limits for qualifying and the race. We are determined to show what the car is really capable of during these final two races."

 

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