Formula 1

Lotus Lead New Teams In Hockenheim Qualifying

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Lotus Racing again beat the rest of the new teams in qualifying today and Jarno Trulli, who out-qualified teammate Heikki Kovalainen, was only less than a second slower than the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi.

Trulli, who will qualified eighteenth for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix, was very pleased with how the weekend in Hockenheim has gone for him so far. The Italian seems to have borne the brunt of most of Lotus’ reliability issues this season, but the team are improving in this area.

“I've had a great weekend so far,” Trulli said. “I've had no troubles with the car and I've been able to work on getting the right balance, and being comfortable with how the car feels in all the sessions.

“You can see from the lap time today just how good it's been, so I'm really happy, but obviously we always have work to do, and the satisfaction comes from putting in the work and seeing results like the lap today.

“Tomorrow it's all about pushing the guys ahead and getting both cars home again, so that's where the focus is now.”

Kovalainen said yesterday that he had been struggling with achieving the right balance for his T127, and it seems that not much has improved in this respect since. “It's been quite a difficult weekend for me so far – it seems to be a bit harder than normal and I'm not sure why,” explained the Finn.

“The balance was ok today but the grip levels felt poor and I wasn't able to get the best out of the tyres on either run. It felt like I was getting more out of them on the third lap each time, so we need to analyse that and see what's behind it.

“Despite this we're still in a good position. Jarno did a great lap and I got ahead of Glock pretty comfortably, so there's everything to fight for tomorrow.”

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne was unable to explain Kovalainen’s issues, but re-emphasised the good position that Lotus find themselves in, and stated the usual aim for tomorrow’s race.

“Mixed feelings today,” he said. “A very good job from Jarno who was pretty happy with the balance of his car, but disappointing for Heikki who lost 3/10ths in a straight line to Jarno and we'll have to look at the reasons for that. Overall he hasn't been happy with the balance all weekend and I think the team didn't do a good enough job on his car before qualifying.

“However, on the positive side we finished the best of the new teams, and we're looking to take this form into the race tomorrow with a strong double finish.”

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