However the Finn admits that the team are putting more focus on their 2014 can and want to maintain 10th in the constructors, to gain from the added financial boost.
He has been with the team since its inception as Lotus Racing in 2010 but was dropped as a race driver for this season. He was called up to replace Ma Qing Hua as one of their two reserve drivers and took part in Friday practice last time out in Bahrain and in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix opening practice session.
Kovalainen is quoted by the Turun Sanomat newspaper as saying “The car itself is basically the same as last year’s,”
He added “The monocoque is the same, only the aerodynamics were modified. So it’s no surprise the team has not gone so well, when you’re putting an old car against the new ones.”
The 31-year-old admitted that the Leafield based squad are putting more focus in their 2014 car due to the severe changes to the regulations and rules next season. “The team is trying to stay – with the least possible effort – in the top ten this year and put more effort into next year,” he said.
“The new car is being developed already. When the rules change so much, it’s important for us to get started with the new car as quickly as possible.”
So far this season they have dropped behind fellow back-markers Marussia, currently lying 11th in the constructor’s standings. However things looked positive in Bahrain after Charles Pic managed to finish ahead of both Jules Bianchi and his team-mate Max Chilton.
In first practice ahead of this weekends Spanish Grand Prix, Kovalainen finished ahead of Giedo van der Garde and the Marussia duo after taking over Charles Pic’s car.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic