Lotus Racing failed to get either car to the end of the German Grand Prix last weekend, but luckily they have only had to wait a week to try and bounce back from this disappointment.
The team believe that the Hungaroring, venue for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, will suit the T127 well, and they hope to challenge the established teams in Budapest.
“After a disappointing end to the Hockenheim Grand Prix we're looking forward to Hungary,” said Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Chief Technical Officer. “[It is] always an interesting race, it's obviously very difficult to pass and the tight, twisty layout should suit the characteristics of the T127 very well.
“Traditionally it's very hot and dusty early on with lots of track evolution. We're still in tenth place as the best of the new teams, and this should be a circuit that suits us, so we need to maintain our strong qualifying form, maintain our reliability and look for a two car finish.”
Hungary is the venue of Heikki Kovalainen‘s one race win so far in Formula 1. He obviously has incredibly little chance of replicating that result this weekend, but the Finn is looking forward to the race all the same.
“I've got great memories of Hungary,” he said. “It's where I scored my first victory, which is obviously the highlight of my career so far, so I'm always looking forward to going there, particularly as there's very strong Finnish support out around the track – it's almost like a home race for me. This year the challenge is obviously different, but we've made good progress at every race so far, and we're well prepared for Hungary so there's no reason why we can't take another step forward this weekend.
“The track itself is obviously hard to pass on, but it's satisfying to find a setup that allows you to get the most out of the car as the track evolves, and then nail it in qualifying – as a driver that's a good feeling. In the race, it's easy to get stuck behind someone, because of the nature of the track, so pitstops become even more critical.
“With that in mind it's good to see how everyone in the team, the pitcrew, the engineers and everyone in the garage, can make a real difference to your race performance, even more than normal. As a driver that's also very satisfying as it shows how important everyone in the garage is, so hopefully we'll be able to put that into practice this weekend.”
Jarno Trulli was having a good weekend in Germany until Lap 15 of the race, when gearbox problems forced his retirement. He is hoping for a better result in Hungary.
“It'll be good to get back in the car straight away after a frustrating end to the German Grand Prix,” said the Italian. “After what had been a really strong weekend, it was obviously not the way we wanted the race to go, so hopefully Hungary will be better luck for us!
“The Hungaroring is a very twisty track, bumpy and hard to pass on, and not one you can get a great rhythm on. We'll be running the full downforce package, and as it's normally very tough – hot and very long, it's a real physical challenge. But I'm feeling good, and we keep progressing, so I'm looking forward to the weekend.”