Heikki Kovalainen was, unsurprisingly, ‘very pleased’ with his qualifying session at Silverstone today after managing to beat both Toro Rosso drivers out of Q1 whilst contending with the infamous British weather.
“I’m very pleased with that,” said the Finn, looking back on his qualifying performance. “Before qualifying we knew it would be important to get as much as we could out of the dry tyres because the showers were expected – small showers, but we just didn’t know when they were going to happen so we had to give it everything on the slicks.
“At the start of Q1 I managed to get a pretty decent lap in and got everything out of the car almost immediately. Then when I went out for the second run the rain started but having got it right when it was dry we were already where we needed to be so the whole team can be pleased about where we ended up.
“Hopefully I can put in a good race from 17th. I know the whole team is working very well together and even though the outright performance isn’t quite there yet, we are still getting everything out of the car and attacking the teams ahead – that’s what we’re here to do in our second season, so days like today are very encouraging for me and everyone in Team Lotus.”
Team-mate Jarno Trulli did not fare quite as well. He will start the British Grand Prix from P21, behind both Toro Rosso drivers and the Virgin Racing car of Timo Glock.
“The rain played its part in Q1 and the session unfortunately was cut short after I'd only had one run,” explained Trulli. “It wasn't quite good enough, which is a shame, but we have one car in Q2 which shows we have the pace to take the fight to the cars ahead, so hopefully I can have a strong race tomorrow, as long as I can avoid any bad luck with the conditions!”
Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne praised Kovalainen for his qualifying result, and suspects that Trulli will bounce back in the race tomorrow:
“I am delighted with our performance today, and especially pleased for Heikki,” said Gascoyne. “In conditions like that it is a good result for the whole team to get the strategy calls right and Heikki did exactly what he needed to do to get into Q2, and he gave it his best shot in that session as well so full credit to him.
“On Jarno's side he has been struggling all day with the balance so I am obviously disappointed for him, but tomorrow in the race I am sure it will be different and he will be able to attack the group in front.
“Overall this has been a good couple of days for us. The team has reacted well to all the changes we have had had to make with the amendments to the regulations and now we need to round off this weekend with a strong two-car finish and take the fight to the teams immediately in front of us.”