Lotus completed 115 laps in changeable weather conditions over the two free practice sessions at Hockenheim today, and are optimistic of a good qualifying in what could be a rain affected session tomorrow afternoon.
Fairuz Fauzy, the test and reserve driver, deputised for Heikki Kovalainen in the morning session. The Malaysian said that, despite the intermittent rain, his time in the car had been well spent.
“The conditions weren't great, but that was the same for everyone, so we all had to deal with the fact it was pouring with rain, and then started drying out, then raining again,” he explained. “But I found myself getting more comfortable with every lap.
“Once I'd got the tyre temperatures up I could push, and the car was reliable throughout, so we got through the programme, which is obviously what we set out to do. I think I could have gone quicker still, but I'm pleased with my input today and can't wait to get back in the car again!”
Kovalainen took control of his T127 for the afternoon session, but could only finish it 22nd fastest. The Finn indicated that set-up difficulties were to blame for the fact that he ended the day faster only than the two Hispania cars: “The main thing today is that we have had good reliability all day, but it was a bit disappointing as I couldn't find a good balance, so we've got work to do on that tomorrow.”
Jarno Trulli, who was in the car for both sessions, completing over 50 laps, expects that qualifying should go well on Saturday. “It was a positive day today,” said the Italian. “We put in a lot of laps in both sessions and I think the car is behaving pretty well here. The track's improved throughout the day and after getting a decent amount of running in I'm confident we can deliver a good result tomorrow.”
Mike Gascoyne, the Lotus Chief Technical Officer, expects further gains in lap times for qualifying, and concluded that Friday went well for the team. “[It was] a useful day for us with no real problems with either car,” he summarised. “Jarno's final run was brought to an early end with a small problem with his fuel pump, but apart from that it was a trouble free session.
“Fairuz did an excellent job this morning in the wet session, running well on both the full wets and the inters,” Gascoyne added. “Considering the limited running he's had in the car he should be very pleased with his day's work.
“In the afternoon we were able to work on the dry setup and I think we found a clear direction towards the end of the session and there's definitely more performance to come tomorrow.”