Lotus begin season with encouraging Friday in Bahrain

Exactly six months to the day since the team’s entry into Formula 1 was confirmed, Lotus Racing today took part in the two Friday practice sessions for this weekend’s Grand Prix in Bahrain. Jarno Trulli was the first car out on track this morning, and was closely followed by his new teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

Both drivers completed their planned programmes  in the morning session, with Heikki completing 21 laps, and Jarno 15. In the afternoon the two drivers returned to the track to test aero upgrades that had been fitted over the lunch break. The two drivers set fastest lap times of just over two minutes, with Kovalainen just over a tenth of a second faster than Trulli. The ended the session in 18th and 19th place, comprehensively beating Virgin Racing and Hispania.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne was positive after the two sessions, and is looking forward to qualifying tomorrow. “A good day for the team after a very long night preparing the cars for today. Everyone worked very hard and it was satisfying to see us first out on track and then put in a solid performance throughout the day. We tried an aero upgrade this afternoon and we'll look at the results of that in this afternoon's debrief, but now we're looking forward to putting in another professional performance tomorrow in qualifying.”

Team Principal Tony Fernandes will arrive in Bahrain for qualifying and the race this weekend.