Team Lotus were pleased to get both cars to the end of the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend, but are now looking to the next race in Barcelona where, with new updates, they hope to make a big step forward.
Jarno Trulli finished the race eighteenth, ahead of team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who he was behind on the starting grid. The Italian was pleased with his efforts today.
“That was a reasonably good race, particularly in the early laps,” said Trulli. “I had another incredibly good start but was blocked in the first corner so couldn’t really exploit how well I’d got off the line. Early on I started fighting with the tyres so we changed to a three stop strategy which eventually worked out pretty well.
“However, the result today doesn’t really show how we have improved our performance so I think that when we get to Barcelona with the whole new package on the car we’ll really be able to fight with the midfield teams.”
Kovalainen revealed that he was plagued with problems this afternoon and, like Trulli, is eagerly anticipating the trip to Spain in two weeks time.
“That was a pretty tough afternoon,” said the Finn. “I had a couple of mechanical issues, with a small hydraulic leak which affected the DRS and the diff, and I think the strategy didn’t work out how we would have liked. Despite that it’s been another good weekend for the team and a two car finish was always a major goal here, but now it’s about looking forward to Spain and we’re all focusing on taking a big step forward there.”
Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne said that Team Lotus had fulfilled their aims today, but recognises there was the potential for a slightly better result.
“The key goal today was for both cars to cross the finish line and I am pleased we achieved that and it is pleasing to see that both drivers performed very well all weekend, and the whole team,” he said. “With Heikki we tried to stick to two stops but the degradation of the tyres was higher than we expected so we switched Jarno to a three stop plan.
“Heikki’s car then developed a hydraulic leak and we were concerned that he would not be able to get to the end, and that if his tyres went off he would be unable to stop again but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle. Without that, I think we would have been able to beat Maldonado on the track.
“Jarno drove a good, strong three stop strategy but reported quite high tyre degradation so we have to look at why he is suffering more than Heikki. However, overall it is good to get two cars to the finish and we look forward to Barcelona where we will have our big update and I hope that we can take the fight to those in front.”