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Comfortable Kovalainen to stay at Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen has admitted he feels more comfortable at Lotus than he did in the last two seasons with McLaren.

The Finn took a big backwards step down the grid with the new Malaysian backed team in 2010, but he told Holland’s formule1.nl magazine that he is not complaining.

“Here at Lotus everything feels better,” said the 28-year-old, who in 2008 and 2009 was Lewis Hamilton’s teammate.

Kovalainen left McLaren late last year declaring that he was not always treated equally by the famous British team.

“I have much more of a feeling that I have things under control now compared to when I was at McLaren,” he explained.

“At virtually every race I am 100 per cent sure what setup I need, and the engineers understand me and believe in me,” added Kovalainen.

He would not go into detail about his misgivings with McLaren.

“I don’t like to complain, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have done a number of things differently,” said the winner of the 2008 Hungarian GP.

It is clear that Lotus will field an unchanged driver lineup next year, with Kovalainen again alongside fellow grand prix winner Jarno Trulli.

Technical boss Mike Gascoyne said Lotus decided to pay for two experienced drivers in the quest to unlock the commercial benefits of finishing the 2010 championship in tenth place.

“If there is a crazy race with a big start crash with rain or something,” he said, “then Heikki and Jarno are more likely to score than inexperienced, young drivers,” he said.