Heikki Kovalainen is confident he is in the form of his life with Team Lotus, and says he will keep working to make himself an even better driver.
Although the ex-Renault and McLaren driver is much further down the field with Lotus these days, Kovalainen feels he is now a much more complete racer than he was when driving for front-running teams.
"I think I'm driving better than before and all the time I feel I'm doing a better job than I've done in the past," he said. "I've learned from my experiences and the mistakes that I've done in the past. I think I'm comfortably in control of the whole situation now – the way that we set up the car, the way that we plan the sessions, go into qualifying and the races is better than before.
"For me, the feeling is that now my career is really starting. I'm working so that whenever there is an opportunity in the future, I'm there to take it. It's all you can do. The last thing you should do is give up and let it go. I'm not ready for that yet."
Lotus was 1.4 seconds behind the slowest of the rest of the midfield in Valencia qualifying, which Kovalainen largely put down to the team lacking KERS.
"We knew this was how it was going to be – long straight lines and no KERS, it's hurting us quite a lot," he said. "We knew there was going to be no chance to battle with the cars ahead and we needed to be lucky to get into Q2. We pushed to the limit and I managed to do a couple of decent laps, but there's nothing more we can do about it at the moment."
He feels that in general Lotus is in better form in Valencia than it has been of late.
"For me, the balance is good, and this weekend, compared to Canada and Monaco, is back to more normal again," said Kovalainen. "At those races we were running different brakes and a different set-up, and I wasn't really getting everything out of it at those races.
"This weekend I'm back to strong and confident driving."