Team Lotus enjoyed one of their best Fridays so far in 2011 at the Hungaroring, according to Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne. The team tried out some modifications to its diffuser, as well as a new power steering system that the team hopes will solve the difficulties that Jarno Trulli has endured so far this season.
“That was one of the best Fridays we have had this year,” said Gascoyne. “We have made some modifications to the diffuser and those changes have definitely worked, and with Jarno immediately telling us the new power steering system is working exactly as we wanted it to we have been able to push closer to the cars ahead than we have for a while.
“On Heikki's car we need to work on finding him a balance he is happy with and we will see how we have got on with that tomorrow, but overall this has been a very positive Friday.”
Trulli was very pleased with how his day went after returning to the cockpit after sitting out the German Grand Prix.
“I'm very happy today,” he said. “I want to thank the whole team, everyone at the factory and in the race team because they have all been patient with me and have worked hard to give me the new power steering system and a car that I can really feel.
“As soon as I pulled out this morning it felt so much better than before so today I've been able to start rebuilding my confidence in the car, and working on all the little changes and improvements that help me to find a setup I can really work with. It's been a really positive day and for that my thanks go to everyone in the team.”
For Heikki Kovalainen there is still some work to do to find the best setup for the weekend.
“It feels like we have taken a step forward with the updates we've brought to the back end of the car but I still need to work on finding a balance I'm happy with,” said the Finn. “We tried a few different setup options today but I couldn't really find the best solution on either compounds, but we've completed a lot of mileage so I'm sure we'll find the right way forward tomorrow.”
Chief Executive Offier Riad Asmat added: “I am very pleased with today's work across the whole team. Back at the factory we have put in a lot of hours on the updates we have brought here, both on the diffuser and the new steering system, and it is clear from both drivers' laptimes that those efforts have closed the gap to the teams ahead more than we have seen for several races. Jarno in particular has been able to push today and he reported that as his confidence increases he will be able to find more time, so I think quali tomorrow could be very interesting.”