Lotus substitute Heikki Kovalainen has played down comments by his former manager Flavio Briatore claiming the Enstone team made the wrong decision in signing the Finn.
On his return to racing last weekend in Austin Kovalainen impressed in practice and qualifying before dropping down the order in the race finishing 15th.
After the race Briatore slammed Lotus’ decision claiming reserve Davide Valsecchi should have been promoted.
“The US grand prix showed that Lotus made a very bad choice choosing Kovalainen,” Briatore reportedly said.
When told by reporters about the remarks in Interlagos the 32-year-old replied: ”I don’t have any problem with Flavio.
“I don’t want to have a fight with him,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.
“He said what he said and as an Italian, he is clearly of the opinion that Valsecchi should be driving. I can understand that.
“Of course it’s easy to say something when the race goes bad,” added Kovalainen. “But hopefully he also remembers to praise me when the race goes well.”
Following the disappointing race in Austin last week, Kovalainen and his engineers initially blamed a broken front wing, however it has since emerged a more serious issue was to the cause.
“Only later it became clear that it was a bag stuck in the right front brake duct,” he said. “The aerodynamics were affected really badly,” he added.
After his first weekend behind the wheel, Kovalainen was impressed by the E21 and understood why it is a front running car.
“I’m not surprised that Kimi has had such good results with this car,” he said. “You can tell right away that the balance is really good and the package is strong overall.”
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