Lotus Racing claimed P20 and P21 on the Hungarian Grand Prix grid today with Jarno Trulli out-qualifying teammate Heikki Kovalainen. The team, however, were disappointed with the fact that both drivers will start behind the Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock.
Heikki Kovalainen missed some crucial preparation time yesterday as he was ruled out of FP2 with hydraulics problems. The Finn thinks that his qualifying position is about the best he could manage considering the circumstances.
“I think we got as much out of the car as we could today,” he said. “Considering the time I lost yesterday it felt like the maximum this afternoon. The car felt ok, and it's a bit of a relief we got to where we are as I wasn't sure about the balance today, bearing in mind I'd missed most of FP2.
“We're still in a decent position for tomorrow and we'll focus on the start and the strategy, and make sure we stay ahead of the other new teams in the race itself.”
Trulli blamed other drivers getting in his way for the fact that he was out-qualified for Glock – someone he was clearly expecting to beat in today’s session.
“It's a bit disappointing today,” said the Italian. “I was going well on the first run but I was held by the traffic in the last sector and lost about 4/10ths, so we had to abort that lap – it's a shame as that was looking like pretty good. On the second run the tyres didn't work as well as we'd hoped and that cost me a lot of time. Despite that we'll do our best tomorrow, and want to see both cars across the finish line.
Lotus Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne agrees with Trulli’s evaluation of the result. “Little bit of a disappointing qualifying session today,” he said. “After the first run both drivers were relatively happy, but neither of them got a clean run on the second set of tyres – Jarno in particular said he had very little grip with the second set.
“However, we are where we are, and we're looking for a strong two car finish tomorrow.”
UPDATE: The two Lotus drivers have both been promoted up one grid slot after Kamui Kobayashi was given a five-place grid penalty for ignoring the pit lane red light as he returned to the pits after being knocked out of qualifying in Q1. He will drop from P18 to P23 and start the race on an all-Japanese back row alongside Sakon Yamamoto.