A disastrous start for new Lotus reserve driver Karun Chandhok hindered Team Lotus running as they found themselves off the pace in both practice sessions in Australia.
Chandhok was caught out by the lack of tyre grip on a slippery track and crashed into the wall on his installation lap leaving the team with a difficult job of rebuilding the car for Jarno Trulli in second practice.
Chandhok accepted responsibility for the error and praised the team ethic for working hard to get Trulli out on track later in the day.
He said; “I’m obviously disappointed to have had such a short run for my first time in the Team Lotus car, but I put my hands up to it and totally accept it.”
“It was a combination of a slippery track and less grip than I expected from the tyres that combined to put me out so early.”
“I’m just pleased the guys could get Jarno out in the afternoon session and it shows what a great team this is that they could get the car fixed that quickly to ensure Jarno could get a decent number of laps under his belt in FP2.”
Trulli and teammate Heikki Kovalainen struggled with performance all day and found themselves ahead of the 2010 new teams but still a couple of seconds off of the established teams.
Team Lotus technical boss Mike Gascoyne was disappointed with the performance of the car but is confident they can improve for tomorrow once they understand the new tyres.
He revealed; “it was a difficult first day in Australia, although we managed to complete some good work at the end of FP2.”
“In the second session we had a fuel pressure problem on Jarno’s car and an electronics issue on Heikki’s car, both of which limited our running, but we were able to solve those issues and work through most of the afternoon’s plan.”
“For tomorrow there is a lot more to come from the car. We are clearly not quite where we expected to be in performance terms but we understand the reasons for that.”
“It is proving quite tricky for us to get the best out of the tyres but we will work on that tonight and when we improve I am confident we will move up to where we expect to be in qualifying tomorrow.”