Lotus hit by reliability problems in Friday practice


Jarno Trulli experienced more technical issues during Friday practice in Canada as electrical problems curtailed his running. Heikki Kovalainen, in the other T127, completed his scheduled programme, and finished the day less than a second off the pace of the Toro Rosso drivers.

“Both sessions were pretty good today,” said Kovalainen. “The circuit obviously has not been used for a little while and it was quite dirty to start with, and even at the end of the second session the grip level was still quite low, but it's definitely improving though! It felt a bit like a Rally Finland stage first thing this morning, so it could only get better from there!

“I think the team did a really good job today, improving the balance and keeping us going in the right direction all the time,” added the Finn. “The low downforce package seems to be working really well, which is very encouraging, and again, we're not far away from the Toro Rossos. Maybe tomorrow in qualifying, I'll be able to have a go at challenging them, and see what happens.

“We're going to focus on keeping the rear of the car under control, and I think we are getting there with that, so, from my side of the garage, things are working out really well.”

While reflecting on his difficult day, Jarno Trulli revealed that he is hoping for a better luck on Saturday: “It's been a difficult day but I'll move on from this and I still feel positive – after all, this is still our first season, and we're only eight races in. I had a few laps, but not enough to get a setup I felt comfortable with. I could feel that both the hard and the soft tyres suffered bad degradation, but after today I want to thank the team for working very hard to fix the problems on my car, and we'll see if the luck will change tomorrow.”

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne apologised to Trulli for his lack of running today and said that improved track conditions tomorrow should help prevent the tyre problems that were experienced by all teams: “It was difficult today – a couple of reliability problems curtailed Jarno's running, but with Heikki we completed everything we wanted to, so that's a plus.

“The tyre performance is always difficult on the first day here, but especially so today, so we'll have to see how that develops tomorrow – it could be interesting.

“Overall, Heikki's performance was good, but apologies to Jarno for the issues – despite those, I'm sure we can get both cars up where we want them tomorrow.”

Tony Fernandes, the Lotus team principal, pointed out the team’s further gains in performance, but is ultimately focusing on solid reliability for race day.

“It was obviously a bit of a tough session out there, a dirty track and a couple of issues for Jarno, but we still showed we keep picking up speed, finishing FP2 just over three seconds off the outright pace,” said Fernandes.

“Both Jarno and Heikki are upbeat, and the main aim now is to bring both cars home on Sunday – if we do that I'll be very happy.”