After the news on Friday morning of Lotus Racing's change to the historic 'Team Lotus' name for 2011, the Friday practice sessions produced somewhat of a mixed bag for the team.
Heikki Kovalainen continued his resurgent form, once again being the fastest of the new teams' drivers in both sessions, posting the 15th and 19th best times in the two sessions. Whilst as always points will be hard to come by this weekend, Kovalainen is looking forward to a good result. “We've found a good direction with the set up today, particularly in the second session, and both of the tyre compounds worked well' he said. “The long runs seemed promising so I've got to say it's one of the good Fridays!”.
Lotus ran young Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy in the first session, and regular driver Jarno Trulli in the second. Fauzy was unfortunate to run in the first session's changeable conditions and ended up 24th, but enjoyed himself nonetheless. “We limited our running in the first session today, to avoid using up tyres” he said. “When I got out on track it felt good to be back and we managed to get some useful data from the run”.
Trulli struggled to find a suitable setup,, and these problems were exacerbated by technical problems. He set the 22nd fastest time. As a result he was rather downbeat about his prospects. “It's really difficult to feel the car when you have these kinds of problems, but let's wait and see what tomorrow brings”.
Mike Gascoyne acknowledged Trulli's problem, but was happy with the overall work done by the team. “Overall we're satisfied, but I think there's more to come tomorrow”.
Lotus currently hold the coveted 10th place in the constructor's championship. The three new teams are all battling hard for this due to the associated extra income for that position.