After an impressive weekend in China, Team Lotus are hoping to build on their recent show of pace at the next race in Turkey as Formula 1 begins its European season.
There are no major upgrades for the T128 this weekend – those will appear a fortnight later in Barcelona – but Team Principal Tony Fernandes is optimistic that the good start to the season will continue nonetheless.
“We have begun this season in the style we wanted to, making steady progress towards the midfield teams and I am hopeful we will continue to do that in Turkey,” he said. “The next step forward should come in Spain where we have a number of significant updates on the cars, but for Turkey we will look to build on the improved reliability and pace we showed in China and work on maximising the mechanical and aero package we have on the T128.
“We have realistic expectations for this weekend, I am not expecting us to have found another chunk of time here as we have been focusing on the Barcelona race for the update package, but I am very confident about the future as the foundations for the long-term success of this team are being laid exactly as planned.”
Jarno Trulli is looking forward to getting back in the car after the three week break, and shares his bosses’ positivity. “Turkey’s another chance for us to keep growing as a team and after the short break we’ve had it’ll be good to get back into the car,” said the Italian. “The team’s been hard at work on the aero updates we’ll introduce at the Spanish Grand Prix and on a couple of mechanical fixes that will give me a better platform to really push on from.
“I want to make sure we can repeat the performance we showed in China and that relies on us having an error free Friday and Saturday and giving us the best chance to fight with the likes of Williams, Force India and Sauber.”
Heikki Kovalainen is fresh from driving a Caterham at Duxford as he helped announce Team Lotus‘ latest acquisition. The Finn is a fan of the circuit in Istanbul and thinks that the T128 will go well there.
“We’ve obviously been pretty busy since getting back from China and it was great to see so many fans turn out for us at Duxford last week,” he said. “I had a really good day and it was cool to be given the chance to be the first person drive the Caterham in our team colours in front of everyone.
“Now it’s on to Turkey which is a circuit I’ve always enjoyed. People talk about Turn 8 being the most hardcore bit of the track but for me it’s not that big a challenge – our car should be ok around the whole lap and after having had more time to work on the next update, which we’ll see in Barcelona, the focus will be on getting the most out of the car in qualifying and showing the pace that we know is there over one lap.”