Team Lotus Comfortably Out-Perform Other New Teams in India Qualifying


Jarno Trulli - Photo Credit: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic
Jarno Trulli - Photo Credit: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

 

The Team Lotus drivers seemed a little underwhelmed by their qualifying performance today in India, but still the team were comfortably ahead of rivals Virgin Racing and HRT at the new Delhi circuit.

“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,” said Heikki Kovalainen, who qualified in P19 but will start one place higher thanks to a three-place grid penalty for Sergio Perez. “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 [Kobayashi] 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.”

Trulli said that he had some traffic problems to contend with today, but is expecting to have better pace tomorrow in the race. “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,” said the Italian, who will start the first Indian Grand Prix from P20.

“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.”

Team Lotus Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne seemed happier with the result than his drivers, and is optimistic of the team having another good race tomorrow. “I think we can be reasonably pleased with our qualifying performance here,” he said. “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.”