Formula 1

Strong Weekend Ends in Disappointment for Team Lotus

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After a strong start to their weekend in Canada, Team Lotus left Montreal disappointed: a driveshaft failure ended Heikki Kovalainen‘s race prematurely, and Jarno Trulli had to nurse a sick car home to seventeenth, behind both Hispania Racing and both Virgin Racing cars. (He was later promoted to sixteenth after Narain Karthikeyan, who finished fourteenth, was given a 20 second penalty after the race for missing a corner and gaining an advantage).

“After a very strong weekend that was not the sort of race we wanted to have,” said Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne. “We lost a number of places after a problem in the first stops and then unfortunately Heikki had a driveshaft failure after the race restarted.

“Jarno has been strong all weekend and put in a fine drive this afternoon. He was able to pick up all the places he lost after the first pitstop and would have had a strong finish, but when he came in for the second time the front inerter failed and dropped down around his feet in the cockpit . We considered retiring the car but Jarno did an awesome job to not only bring the car to the end but also to catch the cars in front of him. He nearly passed them in the last couple of laps, despite the very large handicap he had, so sincere thanks to him for keeping his foot down in what was a very difficult situation.

“Despite all that, we did have a strong weekend in terms of the car's performance so while that was not the best race we will ever have, I think we can see it as another stepping stone in the development of the team.”

Trulli began his post-race analysis with a huge understatement before revealing that his car was difficult to drive for most of the race: “That was a very eventful race,” said the Italian. “It started well but I struggled all afternoon with the brakes and even though I was able to get them up to temperature I think they glazed after the first safety car and I couldn't recover them. After the race restarted I had the same issue with the brakes but as the track dried they started coming back and I was able to start pulling away from our direct competitors.

“Unfortunately after the stop to dry tyres I had something moving around in the cockpit so I came back in again for the team to investigate it. They couldn't fix it so I went back out and did as well as I could to bring the car home to the end.”

Kovalainen was feeling philosophical after his technical problem, and hopes for better luck at the European Grand Prix at the end of June. “Unfortunately my race came to an end with a driveshaft failure,” he said. “When we restarted I lost drive pretty much immediately and had to retire which is obviously a disappointing end to the weekend. It's just one of those things, nothing I could do about it so hopefully we'll have better luck in Valencia and keep pushing on.”

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