Lotus Racing will head to Germany this week hoping to build on the two-car finish they achieved last time out at the British Grand Prix.
The team believe the Hockenheim track layout will suit the T127 better than the fast sweeping corners of Silvestone, and again hope to be challenging the established teams in qualifying and on race day.
“Germany's always a good race – Hockenheim's usually hot and the fans make sure there's a great atmosphere around the whole circuit,” said Heikki Kovalainen, who is currently the best driver of the six in the new teams this season. “The stadium section in particular is amazing – with all the horns blowing, the flags flying and the odd flare being set off, it feels like you are in a football stadium or something. That makes it a great place to watch from if you're a spectator, and for the drivers it's cool – we can see all the fans packed into the stands and it looks pretty hardcore.”
“The circuit itself is pretty good,” added the Finn. “You can overtake at the end of the long straight at the hairpin but there aren't many other places where you can get past. It's relatively hard on tyres and in the past the heat has made the tyres blister, but we shouldn't get any of those problems with this year's tyres. Bridgestone are bringing a super soft and a hard, so there should be a clear performance difference between the two – we'll see how that shapes up over the weekend.”
The Hockenheim track looks a lot different than it did just a few years ago. The high-speed blast through the forest that used to characterise this German circuit has been replaced by a twisty in field section, something that Jarno Trulli, the other Lotus driver, is a bit unhappy about. However, the Italian, who has been a little unlucky so far this year, is hoping for a good result on Sunday.
“Hockenheim has some real history and in its old guise it demanded a lot from the drivers, in terms of setup, driving and in getting all the little details right,” explained Trulli. “However, now it's a more conventional circuit, and while I like it, I preferred the old layout.”
“I was on the podium there a while back, and I won the German F3 Championship there many years ago, so it does hold a lot of good memories for me. It's always hot when we go there, and the fans are very passionate, so I hope we can put on a good show for them, and show what Lotus Racing is all about.”