Abu Dhabi Day 2: Team Lotus report
12 November, 2011
Nov.12 (Team Lotus) Drivers and team review qualifying day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, round 18 of the Formula 1 world championship, at Yas Marina Circuit.
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I am really pleased with that performance today. We definitely got as much performance as we could out of the car and to break into the 1.42s is very satisfying. I pretty much nailed the quick lap and I think we know that where we are on race pace gives us another chance of a strong finish tomorrow. I’m also looking forward to Brazil where we have an update to the rear wing coming – that should give us a better chance of using the DRS more effectively around the whole lap in qualifying, helping us get much closer to our race pace on Saturday afternoons, so another quick lap like that in Brazil with the update would be a great way to finish the qualifying sessions this season.”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “It’s obviously been a tricky Saturday for me, having had to sit out FP3 when we found an issue with the gearbox that couldn’t be fixed in time for me to run in that session. Despite that, the team worked well to fix the problem and gave me the chance to get out in qualifying without incurring any penalties, so putting together a lap that comfortably keeps me ahead of the guys behind is, in the circumstances, pretty good.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “We saw from Heikki’s fastest time that the work everyone put in last night and today gave us the performance we were looking for. With the change in track temperatures we do have to give the drivers different engine maps to suit the ambient temperatures, as well as maximising performance for the specific characteristics of this track, and the times we put in on both cars, especially considering the lack of running Jarno had earlier, puts this down as a good qualifying session for the team.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A reasonably satisfying qualifying session for us. Obviously Jarno had some ground to make up after losing this morning’s session with a gearbox issue that we were able to fix in time for qualifying. Heikki put in another very good Q1 and extracted as much performance as he could out of the car, so they both did well today. We put both cars on two runs in the session, first on the medium compounds and then on the softs, and we finised the session closer to the pack ahead than we have all season, so that points towards another strong Sunday for us. The key now is to maintain the pace we have shown since Singapore and make sure we bring both cars to the chequered flag without any problems.”
Riad Asmat, Group CEO: “I think we can be reasonably pleased with today’s performance. Heikki put in another incredible lap, getting it just right in all three sectors to finish as close as he did to Michael ahead, and Jarno had to perform in a car that he had barely had track time in today and managed to put in a good lap, pretty close to his team mate. Two more races to go, one tomorrow and then the final race in Brazil in two weeks, and two more races for us to secure that all important tenth place. If the drivers and the team can keep up the level of performance we have seen today and for a good part of the whole season, I think we will be ok.”