Trulli: Lotus “four seconds off the pace”

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Jarno Trulli believes the pace shown by Lotus in his last day of testing will be much the same at the first race of 2010 at Bahrain in two weeks’ time.

Trulli said he expects the T127’s performance to be:

What we’ve seen here, no more. We’ll probably be four seconds off.
Jarno Trulli

However he praised the work the team had done in preparing the car for its Grand Prix debut in such a short space of time:

We need more time because we only got the engine on September 12th, no earlier. But in five months we were able to design a car and put it on the track which is quite amazing. But to do that they had to make some compromises on performance and many other things. We are lacking in every area but at least the car is running and reliable.

We’re not losing wings, we’re not having major problems, we’re doing all we are capable of doing in such a short time.

He ran a race simulation during the wettest part of today’s test:

It was OK. Unfortunately it was in wet conditions, I was hoping it would be dry. Nevertheless we got a lot of mileage done and reliability was not too bad. It seems the car is, so far, reliable.

In the afternoon we had a little hydraulic leak which needed to be repaired.

We are lacking in every area – we knew that before we hit the track. We don’t have the time to get the parts done before the first race so we have to deal with it. We’ll start our season in the mid-season, I would say.
Jarno Trulli

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “Trulli: Lotus “four seconds off the pace””

  1. great to see Team Lotus back in Formula 1, very much looking forward to seeing them in action this year

  2. Yeah thats pretty nice to see Lotus back on track… hope they won’t make a fool of themselves, cause its a legendary team!! (Clark, Senna, and many others…)

    1. Yellow Lotus from late 80s and early 90s did just that!

  3. in Bahrain we can expect them to be 2 or 3 laps behind at the end, in shorter tracks up to even 5 laps. That’s not very bad given the fact they’re a new team.

  4. I suspect Lotus will be at the centre of this year’s F1 Rejects podcast!

    1. You mean “Fondmetal Team Malaysia”? ;)

      I *love* F1Rejects!

      1. Me too! Though I suspect Campos and Simtek (aka Virgin) will also be a topic of conversation

  5. Considering the circus like atmosphere which the F1 seemed to be in last year(outside the actual races), I am not the least bit surprised. The FIA wanted to quickly fill the field with cars. Well this is a result. Teams that are not really competitive. But at least they made it to testing.

  6. It is a bit unrealistic for the new teams to be anywhere near pace. Let them get on track and get experience as a team this year. Rome wasn’t built in a day. What is the logic to not allow teams to miss races who aren’t ready yet? This shouldn’t just be about 2010.

  7. At least there is one positive out of this… The Lotus brand will be so badly devalued that we should be able to pick up an Elise dirt cheap in the next few months. :)

  8. How long did it take Minardi to be 4 seconds off the pace?

    In a couple of years time they will be up there with the rest of them.

    It looks like Virgin are going to be the best of the newcomers, unless of course Stefan GP are quick right out of the box (unlikely).

    1. It depends how you measure “off the pace” – using Monaco qualifying times as the basis for comparison, it took Minardi four years from 1985 to 1989 for one of its cars to qualify within 4 seconds of pole position.

      But the field was much more spread out back then.

    2. TheGreatCornholio
      28th February 2010, 8:29

      Erm, No-one actually knows if Stefan are gonna be allowed out of the box in the first place! Lol

  9. Considering its a rushed job we should not expect much from them this year. Their priority was to retain their grid slot. Other teams (new) teams, that had even longer to prepare, are experiencing problems, but lotus got their car ready in record time. So lets forget about this year. They will have to learn everything from scratch.

  10. Can I just wait long enough for an historic name to come available and call myself and my team Hispano Suiza/ WO Bentley/Duesenberg. there should be a law about using historic marques.Louts as an F1 team can do nothing but ruin the great name they have in this sport.

    1. They’re not going to ruin the name, Lotus were rubbish in the late 80s/early 90s and no one paid any attention.

      I’m surprised most people are actually taking a reasonable viewpoint on this rather than expecting an entirely new team with an entirely new car to be straight on the pace.

      1. The Lotus name is licensed by Proton, the company that owns Lotus Cars. So they’re not “just using it”.

    2. Happily, enough fans know the difference between Lotus F1 and the original Team Lotus to make sure that won’t happen. It does disturb me to see people using the latter name to describe the current team, though…

      1. What happens when a team moves its factory from one location to another within the same country? Do they lose their originality?

        What about if they move to another country?
        Or they change their entire staff?

        If they original Lotus of blessed memories was any good, they will be on the grid now, but they died or were bought over. So this is a continuation.

  11. I think Campos and Stefan GP (if they make it) are likely to be even slower. Now that Bahrain is the second longest circuit on the calendar, I suspect some cars will be way more than 4 seconds off the pace at the first race…

    1. I agree with that and last year the cars were so close all of the time that it will be odd to see cars being lapped more frequently again and so far off in qualifying.

  12. Computer technology has or rather should close the gap between the new teams and established ones. One doesn’t need 2-3 years of heritage building to design a competitive car unless the design is so radical that the risk did not pay off. The base manufacturing infrastructure is available in around Norfork, that’s why the teams based near there are able to “leggo” together an F1 car in such a short time.
    The design work of Lotus was done many months before Gasgoinne went looking for Fernandes. He had all the resources in place and that is the key for it being on the grid. What baffles me is that why couldn’t he have designed a better car given his expertise and experience and all the wind-tunnel time? The shortage of time isn’t to blame or used as an excuse.
    The T127 with Fauzty at the wheel is slower than the GP2 car! (Grojean’s pole time in a GP2 car was 1:27.51). Minus 4 seconds is light years in F1 terms. The car lacks the speed out of the box. Adding bells and whistles or a little aero here and there isn’t going to cut the ice. The base car is wrong! Like Mclaren last year, they abandoned the initial car and came up with MkII that won a few races right away.
    I hope they chose not to flog a dead horse!

    1. The real area of compromise on the Lotus, is around the sidepods. My guess is that a compromise was made since they had no idea what the heat rejection rates are of the Cosworth engines. As such he just made the radiator inlet big.

      1. and the lotus is the only car without a double-deck diffuser..

        go figure

  13. Guys. Please remember that this. is. NOT. Lotus. They have nothing to do with them. It’s like if Ferrari withdrew, ad suddenly a bunch of Koreans started up a team and named it Ferrari, just because say a Korean carmaker like Daewoo owned the Ferrari company.

    1. In that case, the Korean team would be Ferrari! What would be the difference?

    2. Why is your head in the sand? Isn’t Mercedes nee Brawn actually a Honda?

      1. No – they’ve been taken over by Mercedes. Lotus actually have nothing do do with “Lotus F1 Racing”

    3. But Fiat are just using the Ferrari name for the racing team at the moment!

  14. They may be 5 laps behind but that’s not as much as Campos or USF1 are/going to be

  15. Kiss goodbye how close we had it last season! Only 2 sec covered the whole field!

  16. If a car can’t qualify in 107% of the polo position time then isn’t that car not fit to race?

    1. I don’t think that requirement exists any more. I think it was pre 03.

    2. At yesterday’s Barcelona test the fastest lap time was Nico Rosberg’s 1:20:686. Assuming all cars were running equal fuel loads (which they weren’t) then the 107% time would be 1:26:334. All of the drivers were within that mark yesterday.

    3. The 107% rule is long gone.

  17. Lola would have done a better job……

    if i take a photo of george clooney and i stick it on my ass, that doesnt make me george clooney….

    the same applies to lotus

  18. I love his comment about not losing wings… cheeky…

  19. Oh dear poor Jarno…

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