The two Team Lotus drivers managed just 12 laps of the British Grand Prix between them today as technical problems made for a disappointing result for the Anglo-Asian team.
However, although the team would clearly have preferred to see the chequered flag at one of their home races, chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne is able to take some positives from the British Grand Prix weekend.
“That is obviously a disappointing end to what had been a very encouraging weekend for the team,” said Gascoyne. “It looks like Heikki suffered an electrical problem on his gearbox which caused him to lose fourth gear so we had to pull him in and retire him. It was definitely not a problem with the gearbox itself so we need to take a close look at what went wrong on our side and make sure it does not happen again.
“On Jarno's car we instructed him to stop as he had an oil leak and lost pressure so we had to end his race early to ensure we did not damage the engine. Sometimes races end like this but we have been working very hard to minimise these sorts of problems, so we will regroup and come back stronger in Germany at the next race.”
The two drivers were obviously disappointed with their afternoon. “What a shame!” exclaimed Heikki Kovalainen, reflecting on the afternoon. “I had a really good start but then lost fourth gear and had to retire the car.
“The conditions out there were exactly what they should be for real drivers – a mix of two types of circuit, one wet, one dry, exactly what I love racing in and the type of race we could have taken advantage of. But these things happen so we’ll move on to Germany and keep on pushing.”
Jarno Trulli was also optimistic that the team could bounce back at the next grand prix. “I had a decent start and was getting set to pass Timo but then had the call to stop the car to prevent any damage to the engine because of an oil leak,” explained the Italian. “It's obviously not how we wanted the race to go but our reliability record has improved dramatically this season and this is just one of those blips.
“I'm sure we'll bounce back at the Nurburgring where we may well have similar weather conditions, so we'll move on and make sure we learn the lessons from this weekend.”