Indian GP Qualifying: Lotus report
29 October, 2011
Oct.29 (Lotus) Team and drivers report on qualifying for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, round 17 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, at Buddh International Circuit, near New Delhi.
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-01: “I think I got as much out of the car as I could in quali and it’s good to put in a lap like that right towards the end of the run. Honestly, I’ve been struggling all weekend to find a balance and put heat into the tyres, so to come out on Saturday and hook up a lap within 0.7 of Kamui feels pretty good. As the weekend’s continuing the track’s getting better and better and I have to say I’m really enjoying myself out there, so tomorrow will be fun, particularly as we’ve shown recently that we can fight with the cars in front throughout the race.”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “I was a bit unlucky with traffic on my quick laps and I think there were a couple of tenths to find but we were pretty close to pushing as hard as we could today in quali. We’ve taken a step forward since yesterday as the times show, but we know our qualifying pace doesn’t reflect what we can do in the race so I want to make sure I can get back to the great race starts I’d been making a couple of races back and see where we end up tomorrow afternoon.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “We worked a lot last night on improving the balance of the car through the medium and high speed corners and on maximising our straight line speed so both cars have the best shot of competing with the teams ahead tomorrow. I think we will be ok – this is a similar layout to the last race in Korea and we were strong there so I think we can look forward to another good performance on Sunday.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I think we can be reasonably pleased with our qualifying performance here. Our drivers were close to the maximum on their quickest laps and even though they had a couple of issues with traffic and struggled to generate heat in both compounds of tyres, we finished Q1 close to the group ahead. We know we can fight with a number of cars in the race so the aim for Sunday has to be a repeat of our races in Japan and Korea and maintain the strong end to the season we have been enjoying over the last few races.”
Riad Asmat, Group CEO: “We did okay here. Both drivers have struggled a little with the tyres here but I think our qualifying performance today shows some of the hard work put in last night and this morning has brought us back to where we know we should be. Now we want to maintain the very good reliability we have seen all weekend and make sure both cars finish well tomorrow. I think the race itself is going to be a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the Indian Grand Prix and I hope the fans have something to cheer for, no matter what team they are following.”