Kovalainen beats a Williams (Chinese GP team-by-team: Lotus)

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Kovalainen brought his Lotus home ahead of Hulkenberg's Williams

Excellent strategic calls and and another fine drive in the wet in Shanghai allowed Heikki Kovalainen to bring his Lotus home ahead of one of the established teams’ cars on merit for the first time.

Jarno TrulliHeikki Kovalainen
Qualifying position2021
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’39.399 (-0.121)1’39.520
Race position14
Average race lap2’31.106 (+33.425)1’57.681
Pit stops42
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Lotus (click to enlarge)

Jarno Trulli

Held up by getting the tyre choice wrong at the start, then ended his race early with an hydraulic problem.

Noticeably slower than his team mate when they were on track at the same time during the race, but Trulli ran true to form by holding the upper hand in qualifying.

Compare Jarno Trulli’s form against his team mate in 2010

Heikki Kovalainen

While many other drivers – including his team mate – were duped into pitting too early for intermediate tyres, Kovalainen stayed out and reached as high as sixth place:

The decision to stay out early on dry tyres was made by me and the team together – it wasn’t wet enough to come in and as soon as the race started I could see the rain had calmed down so we agreed it was the right call to stick with the plan. The other cars on wet tyres were obviously struggling so that worked out very well.
Heikki Kovalainen

Although he inevitably slipped back down the order when Nico Hulkenberg got his tyre choice wrong after the second safety car period it offered Kovalainen the chance to scalp one of the established teams.

He seized the chance splendidly, lapping consistently and error-free. Hulkenberg took up to five seconds per lap out of him, but by the end of the race Kovalainen still had nine seconds in hand. Giant-killing stuff.

Have a look at their battle on the interactive race chart by switching off all the lines apart from Kovalainen and Hulkenberg’s. Find it here

Compare Heikki Kovalainen’s form against his team mate in 2010

Author information

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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15 comments on “Kovalainen beats a Williams (Chinese GP team-by-team: Lotus)”

  1. Bigbadderboom
    19th April 2010, 14:36

    Really good to see Heikki enjoying F1 again, he may not be amongst the cream of drivers but I think his partnership with Jarno will prove fruitful for Lotus. For me Lotus is looking the most likely for long term success from the new boys.

    1. he strangely appears to be the most cheerful driver on the grid, lack of pressure for victories?

  2. I’m very happy for Heikki and Lotus was a great race for them. To manage to get up to 6th position even if just briefly in itself deserves a big applaud. But to top off a good weekend for them they ontop of it all managed to finish ahead of Hulkenbergs Williams must feel very good for the team. Now to work out the gremlins and get a bit more speed and they might manage to start fight a bit with the bottom established teams and even get a car into Q2 without the other team blundering or being a weird one of race such as Malaysia and China with rain putting everything on it’s head.

  3. Heikki made a mistake in his flying lap in qualy, otherwise he’d beat Trulli and Glock.

  4. Lotus are doing well. In your face anti new teams faces!

  5. Wow. I didn’t realize he finished ahead of Hülkenberg. Great for Lotus.

  6. Lotus is doing great… being a newbie! Nice to see him in 6th. But to be really in those heights fighting for real will take still more than a year… lets hope Lotus can be the next Force India…

  7. Im’ very much looking forward to the updates the three newbies will bring to their cars during the course of the season. Hopefully these will include new sidepods for the Lotus, because it will defintely be the prettiest car on track then!

    1. agree with you, man! the most beautiful livery!!!

  8. Good Job Lotus.

  9. I don’t know if this was already mentioned – but after Trulli’s retirement, the TV showed a quick glimpse of him in the garage involved in what looked like heated words with someone in a Lotus windbreaker (only from the back) – anyone know more about this?

    Excellent to addition to the site, those interactive race charts.

    1. I get the feeling Trulli won’t be around next season… I don’t know whether his hearts in it…

  10. Slightly off topic, was there a sadder sight then the image of Kobayashi and DelaRosa both in the garage after retirements?

    Sauber and Williams have to be the biggest busts of the year, so far anyways.

  11. BritishRacing
    21st April 2010, 13:28

    Lotus needs more downforce!

  12. You should list somewhere an about/biography of yourself so people can realize the point of view you have when you write this.

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