November 16th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Heikki Kovalainen has, so far, justified the confidence Lotus showed in him by asking him to fill in for Kimi Raikkonen at the United States Grand Prix. Kovalainen qualified eighth for tomorrow's race, despite driving the car for the first time only yesterday.
Kovalainen described his qualifying session:
“I knew yesterday that we had a good car, but I didn’t really set myself a target for qualifying. I felt that I got pretty much everything I could from it today, as I struggled a bit compared to yesterday with the cooler temperatures this afternoon. Overall, everything’s been positive so far and we got into the top ten.
"I’m not making any predictions, but we’ve seen that Kimi could do pretty well working forwards from similar grid positions so hopefully tomorrow we can have another good day.”
In the other Lotus, Romain Grosjean qualfied best of the rest behind the Red Bulls in third. He is well poised to add another podium finish to what has been an impressive season.
Grosjean reacted to Saturday's action as follows:
“It’s not been the easiest weekend in terms of finding the right balance with the car, so to be third on the grid is a good result. We managed to go through Q1 on the hard tyre which was not the plan initially, but it was a nice surprise and gave us options for the two following sessions.
"It’s great for the team to have Heikki [Kovalainen] in the top ten too – especially with Mercedes and Ferrari struggling a little bit – as we’re still fighting them hard in the Constructors’ Championship, so hopefully we can score good points with both cars tomorrow. Sebastian [Vettel] and Mark [Webber] were very quick today, but of course we’ll do our best to round up the bulls in the race; we are in Texas after all!”