It was the usual story at Lotus: Trulli qualified best but Kovalainen was home first.
|Jarno Trulli||Heikki Kovalainen|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’43.516 (-0.196)||1’43.712|
Took up his customary place at the head of the three new teams in qualifying. Was passed by Kovalainen on lap one and spent several laps defending his position from Timo Glock.
The front-left of his front wing collapsed on lap 28, forcing him to make a long pit stop for it to be replaced.
Then on lap 51 his rear wing first tilted backwards then collapsed entirely – fortunately this incremental failure spared him from an instant loss of rear downforce that could have caused a huge accident:
My race was one of the ones I’ll want to forget. I had a problem with the front wing to begin with, and then a rear wing failure finished the race so I’m pretty glad it’s over.
He was classified as a finisher despite his retirement.
In contrast, Kovalainen had a smooth run to finish ‘best of the new teams’ for the tenth time this year and the fourth race in a row:
The race itself was just great, right from when the lights went out. I got the best start of the season, made up places immediately and from that point on I just got my head down and got on with it.
Everything went perfectly according to plan. The tyres weren’t really degarding and as the car got lighter and the fuel burnt away I was able to keep putting in what felt like qualifying laps throughout the whole race. I was able to pull away a gap to the cars behind me and we managed the traffic really well all race.
After I came out of the pits I had to let a few cars past which cost me several seconds, but that wasn’t a problem as I could keep pulling away from my direct rivals.
2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Image © Lotus F1