• Brazilian Grand Prix - Lotus

Kovalainen admits comeback was harder than he thought

ESPN Staff
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Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that his end-of-season comeback was more difficult than he had expected it to be after failing to score any points at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Kovalainen subbed in for Kimi Raikkonen at the final two races, but despite showing signs of promise in practice and qualifying, he failed to deliver any points in the USA or Brazil. On Sunday he dropped from 11th to 14th and he said his race starts had been one of the biggest factors in his lack of results.

"It has been a great opportunity to drive for Lotus F1 Team and I'm upset that I was not able to score any points for them today," he said. "I think the car is great, but I was not able to unlock the pace and make the most of it. I made some mistakes - probably through lack of routine - but I was anticipating it would be easier to come back and race competitively.

"My starts both here and in Austin were really poor, with procedural issues both times meaning I wasn't able to keep pace with everyone off the line. That was disappointing as it's such a big part of the race and it's very difficult to recover positions. I'd like to thank everyone at Lotus F1 Team for all their support during these two races."

Team-mate Romain Grosjean's race only lasted four laps before his engine let go, meaning Lotus scored no points and had to settle for fourth in the constructors' championship.

"At this point in the season I think everyone needs a holiday, but apparently my engine decided to go on vacation early," Grosjean said. "Of course, that's not the way we wanted to end the year but it's been a fantastic season for the team and I think we can be really proud of what we've achieved together. We've proven this year that we are a top team, and I'm certainly proud of all the guys in the garage and back at Enstone.

"Today was obviously disappointing for everyone as they deserved more from this final race after all their hard work, but now it's time to get a little bit of rest and then focus on making sure we head into 2014 and the new regulations as one of the top teams once again."

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