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Kovalainen admits Lotus was too optimistic
Just under three years ago, Heikki Kovalainen won his first grand prix in Hungary and looked set for a glittering career, but the last couple of years have been an uphill struggle to help establish the reborn Lotus team.
After a promising first season in 2010, the team were aiming to be battling with the midfield runners for points right from the start of the year - but it hasn't quite turned out like that, with Lotus still yet to get on the scoreboard.
Lotus's best finish in 2011 has been 13th, while Kovalainen and team-mate Jarno Trulli have made it into Q2 on just three occasions so far.
"I think they [the targets] were too optimistic," he told Manipe F1. "With the tools we have at the moment, we can't expect to be fighting with the middle of the pack or with teams like Renault or Mercedes.
"We're not there this year, we clearly don't have the structure in place yet to be able to do that. I think the targets were too optimistic but I haven't worried about that too much."
One area in which Kovalainen feels Lotus could benefit from improvement is the team's facilities, which he says are behind those of the teams they would like to be challenging.
"I think it's not good enough yet, it's one area that we need to improve for the future," he added. "We know that because the main reason is that the facility that we have is not good enough yet, it's not big enough."