Team Lotus were left with a disappointing end to a strong weekend in Hungary after both their cars retired with technical issues.
Both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen had showed competitive pace throughout the weekend after some updates to the cars, but both cars failed to finish due to suspected water leaks.
“A disappointing end to a strong race,” said Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne. “Jarno stopped with a water leak and it looks like the same problem also ended Heikki's race later on, but we need to get the cars back and take a closer look before we can be sure what the problems were.
“Until they stopped both Jarno and Heikki were having strong races, particularly Heikki in the middle stint when he was keeping a lot of cars behind him. So, overall it is disappointing to end like this, but we have definitely taken a step forward here so now we can go into the well-deserved mid-season break which the whole team, here at the track and back at the factory, definitely deserve, and come back refreshed and ready for an even better second half of the season when we return in Spa.”
After struggling with his setup during practice, Kovalainen got that sorted for qualifying and was able to match the pace of the cars ahead of him during the race.
“A weekend of real ups and downs for me,” he said. “I struggled to find a decent balance in the practice sessions but then it all came good in quali where I put in a really good lap after finally getting comfortable with the setup.
“I started the race well and was keeping pace with Maldonado, Sutil, Perez and the guys around me, and right through the early stops I was able to push them, and keep pulling away from the guys behind. We came in for inters when the rain really started again about two thirds of the way through the race, then back in pretty shortly afterwards for options again, but then I was given the instruction to shut the engine off due to a water leak.
“Having seen how close we were in race pace to the midfield I'm not disappointed – it's just another step in the growth of the team and we'll pick up where we left off in Belgium in a few weeks time,” he added.
Trulli was also left frustrated, but has plenty of positives to take away from the weekend.
“My run of bad luck in Hungary seems to have struck again,” he said. “The car has been great all weekend and even though I didn't have the best start I was really enjoying myself out there. I got past Timo [Glock] pretty early on and then had a good first stop but it looks like a water leak brought my race to an early end. Despite that, the steps forward we've taken here have been really positive, so after the break I'm sure we'll be back fighting again at Spa.”
CEO Riad Asmat echoed his drivers’ thoughts: “What a shame our weekend ended like that. Heikki had driven a fantastic race and had been fighting right up until the end with the guys ahead – his pace was better than we have seen all season so it is obviously very disappointing that through no fault of his own he could not bring the car home.
“Jarno's race was also cut short which, after such a strong weekend for him, compounds the disappointment, but sometimes these things happen and we just have to make sure we learn from it, build on the positives and keep on pushing forwards.”