Italian GP Qualifying: Lotus report
10 September, 2011
Sep.10 (Team Lotus) Team and drivers review their Italian Grand Prix qualifying day at Monza, round 13 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship.
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “I’m really happy with the job the team has done today and I think I got the most I could out of the car, particularly on the second run. There’s only really one line here in Monza – it’s not a particularly technical circuit but you need to be extremely precise and with the power steering system we had in Hungary back on the car I’m able to feel my way around the whole lap, which gives me the chance to put in laps like I did to get into the 1.26s. The car has definitely improved since yesterday – we found the balance we were struggling for in FP1 and FP2 and I think that puts us in a good place for the race tomorrow.”
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: ““The car felt good today but I struggled a bit to get the ultimate lap time out of it this afternoon. I don’t really know why so I’ll have a look at the data with the engineers and see where we could find some time, but the good thing is that we have definitely improved since yesterday which shows we keep on going in a positive direction all the time. Even after that I think we didn’t qualify too badly and are in a reasonable position to fight tomorrow. Jarno is strong here and it will be a good battle with him tomorrow. The important thing is to keep the gap to the guys behind us and look ahead, not behind. I think we’ll be ok.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “It has been quite a good day for us. Overnight we quite substantially changed the setups on the cars which gave us a fair amount of work to do in FP3, but it looks like that has paid off as the feedback from both drivers has been much more positive today. Jarno was particularly strong on his home track in qualifying, and I think he and Heikki will both be in a good position to fight tomorrow.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “After yesterday I think that was a pretty good qualifying session. We finally found the performance we knew was in the car and with both drivers happy with the balance we can be pleased with the job we did overnight and this morning. Jarno in particular was much more happy with his car and he could have found a few more tenths on his quickest lap but for the traffic that held him up in the final sector. Heikki was not quite as happy with the balance of his car, but he also put in a good performance, as did the whole team, to get the best out of what we have today and now we look forward to a strong race and a solid two car finish tomorrow.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “Firstly I am thrilled to be back on track after a few races away – nothing beats F1 and I am very pleased with the performance today. Last night I was a little nervous after a slightly disappointing Friday, but we had a good conversation with the whole team and I think we did very well today. This is the type of track where KERS plays an important role and without that this year we are always going to struggle, but to have kept a respectable gap to some of the teams ahead is quite pleasing. I noticed some of what Eddie Jordan said on the BBC this afternoon and I take that sort of comment as a positive – he is not alone in wanting to see us keep moving further up but Rome was not built in a day and our plan has always been worked out over the long-term. We cannot rush this and we always knew that securing tenth place in the first two seasons would give us the platform to build for a secure future, so we are on target to achieve that. Over the next few weeks we will unveil some more of the plans for next season and beyond, and having seen the development plan for next year’s car I am confident the foundations we have laid will help us reach where we want to be. Hopefully in years to come people with the experience of Eddie will be proud of what we have achieved, and we will take his comments as a positive force for us to keep pushing on.”