A new rear wing and other mechanical and aero updates for Lotus helped them finish Friday in Turkey just 0.7 seconds behind the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari.
Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest of the Lotus duo today, and was understandably very happy with the way the team are continuing to pull away from the other new teams and get closer to the midfield.
“It was a very good Friday again for me,” said the Finn. “I had a really good first session this morning, with no problems with the car and we were again able to improve the setup.
“The track felt good all day, a little dusty to begin with, but it cleared quickly and overall it felt great all day. This afternoon we were able to try both tyre compounds and successfully got through all our plans, so I couldn't really ask for more.”
Jarno Trulli had reliability problems in the afternoon session, but is happy with the improvements. “A bit more bad luck for me today as this afternoon's session was cut short by losing third gear,” explained the Italian.
We'd planned to do some setup work in the second session, and didn't get the chance to do so, but against that you can look at the times and see that we have continued to move forward overall with the car.
“We are moving away from the other new teams, and closer to those in front – obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but it's pleasing to see we are going in the right direction.”
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Chief Technical Officer, knows that Lotus will be judged on their relative performance in qualifying and the race, and not on Friday practice times: “A fairly positive day, although it was a shame Jarno's day was curtailed by a gearbox problem in P2. That meant he couldn't run the soft tyres, or try a low fuel run, but I'm sure that if he'd done so he would have been up with Heikki.
“Heikki had another trouble free day, and overall we've taken another step forward to the midfield, so now it's up to us to confirm that progress tomorrow.”