Team Lotus Have Tyre Issues in Monza


Team Lotus drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli called on the team to find more pace from the T128 around Monza after a Friday of practice sessions in which each driver struggled to get the tyres working around the Italian track.

“That wasn't too bad but we can definitely improve,” said Kovalainen, who finished the day in P19. “This morning's session was brought to an early end with a sensor issue on the gearbox and I was given the instruction to pull over when the engine temperatures started rising. This afternoon we worked on both sets of tyres and I think the softs are ok but we weren't really able to get the best out the mediums which gave us some areas to work on tonight on improving overall grip.”

Trulli was replaced by reserve driver Karun Chandhok for the first of the two sessions today, but was back in the car this afternoon. He was the eighteenth fastest driver today.

“That was a trouble free Friday afternoon for me but honestly I'm not all that happy with the balance of the car at the moment,” said the Italian. “There's quite a lot of understeer on turn-in and through the exit of the corners and we need to work on dialling that out to find more speed. There's definitely more to come and we've shown all season we can take good steps forward from Friday to Saturday, so I think we'll be ok tomorrow.”

Chief Technical Office Mike Gascoyne understands the concerns of his drivers, and is hopeful that the tyre problems can be solved in time for qualifying tomorrow. “That was a bit of a difficult Friday for us,” he said in summary.

“[The day] started well this morning with Karun doing a good job running through an aero evaluation program and it was good for him to have a full session in the dry. For the race drivers, the main problem today was getting heat into the harder tyres and I think we may find that improves with increasing the downforce levels tomorrow. Both Jarno and Heikki were reporting that they could not find enough grip and as that is linked to both tyre performance and the downforce package the goal is to solve that for tomorrow and unlock the speed we know is in the car for qualifying.”