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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Heikki Kovalainen confident over his switch to Lotus


Kovalainen tests out Lotus seat

Heikki Kovalainen is hopeful he has joined the most competitive of the new teams in the 2010 Formula 1 season.

The Finn, who joins Jarno Trulli in the Norfolk-based team, has had his seat fitted at the team's Hingham factory.

He told BBC Radio Norfolk: "We want to be ahead of the other new teams, that's the minimum target.

"I think it's difficult to predict before we actually see the car on the track, and see some lap-times, and see how this first car will be behaving."

Kovalainen drove alongside Lewis Hamilton for McLaren in 2008 and 2009, but his place this year has been taken by reigning world champion Jenson Button.

The 28-year-old admits he had other options, but was quickly sold on the new enterprise when he spoke to team principle Tony Fernandes and technical director Mike Gascoyne.

"It wasn't a difficult decision once I met Mike and Tony, who are very much pushing this programme forward, it became very clear to me that they are very serious.

"The aim is to become a successful race team that is competitive even in the medium term, obviously at the beginning it will be tough," he said.

"Before I knew about this Lotus project I was talking to other teams, but when I spoke to Mike and Tony is became quite easy," he added.

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