Lotus: Late-race problem slows Kovalainen

2011 Turkish GP team review

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Lotus believe Heikki Kovalainen could have beaten Pastor Maldonado again had he not been slowed by technical problems in Turkey.

Heikki KovalainenJarno Trulli
Qualifying position1819
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’28.780 (-0.893)1’29.673
Race position1918
Pit stops33

Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):


Heikki Kovalainen103.53197.3796.5296.82597.34696.23795.99396.41396.47797.02398.66897.78899.18997.84697.935113.47595.5395.03895.26195.17596.08994.87195.09395.18295.00695.27395.43195.16696.1395.64896.643110.80993.79993.88793.84993.67793.39595.56893.81894.0994.40494.48593.79193.65494.00194.08994.77594.83195.56597.53399.12699.408100.091116.39992.69593.462
Jarno Trulli104.67397.04597.04397.00696.45496.38996.07896.39396.44397.50197.87499.3498.647112.65894.97494.81494.90194.6894.97994.91294.80294.78995.16896.26596.212112.43294.32894.19894.12494.14495.92294.39294.46594.31295.70194.35594.58694.45595.436111.56794.25493.69693.18593.01993.2893.78793.48393.35592.86293.1994.2895.1595.97394.7294.17294.29396.713
Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Istanbul, 2011
Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Istanbul, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen was pleased with his “right on the money” qualifying lap. He was half-a-second away from making it into Q2.

He got up to 15th at the start but was passed by Sebastien Buemi, Kamui Kobayashi and Jaime Alguersuari in the opening laps.

He tried to run a two-stop strategy but his lap times dropped off badly towards the end of the race and he had to make an extra stop. A hydraulic problem meant his DRS and differential weren’t working properly.

Chief technical officer Mika Gascoyne said that without his problems, Kovalainen would have been able to beat Pastor Maldonado again:

“We were concerned that he would not be able to get to the end, and that if his tyres went off he would be unable to stop again but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle.

“Without that, I think we would have been able to beat Maldonado on the track.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Trulli also had DRS problems. His surfaced in qualifying, explaining his deficit to Kovalainen of almost nine tenths of a second.

He ran a conventional three-stop strategy and inherited 18th place from his struggling team mate, finishing almost half a minute behind Maldonado.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    14 comments on “Lotus: Late-race problem slows Kovalainen”

    1. Turn off the differential? That’s odd

      Heikki is doing really well! As do Lotus of course!

    2. but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle.

      wow, talk about extreme measures!!!
      anyway, kov clearly still has quite a bit of talent and did very well for an over 20-lap stint. very glad the lotus boys are catching up to the ailing williams.
      i think a lot of the credit should go to kovalainen and trulli, two such experienced drivers must give great input and analysis on how the car is and where it needs to improve. kudos

    3. Impressive car nursing then by Heikki. Just goes to show how hard it it, just to make these systems work properly.

      I must say, HRT are doing a fine job with avoiding technical glitches so far.

      1. the parts are under less stress when cornering at half the speed of the front runners

        1. hello exaggeration!

    4. Douglas62500
      9th May 2011, 13:18

      That’s not bad at all considering all those problems they had. Let’s just hope that their upcoming updates for Barcelona would not cause them too much trouble, especially on the exhausts, as Virgin and Williams did.

    5. If they bring 0.5 secs as Mike said, they could hunt some of mid field teams.

      1. sorry. 0.8 secs in Spain.

    6. They are gaining more confident every race they race.Keep up the good work,among the new team they are the best looking in the pack.

    7. Trulli seems to have problems every practice/qualifying/race. Glad to see him ahead of Heikki.

    8. Q2 is still gonna be a tall order for them even with a good update. With Kobayashi out of qualifying early on, this was their best shot. If no one has a mechanical problem, then they’ll have to beat at least two established drivers to make Q2, not just one driver as they would’ve had to here.

    9. They’re getting there. I think it’s a little early to expect them to be beating Maldonado consistently.

    10. Well it seems they’re almost there. They should have added KERS though; its only worth .3 per lap but they’re close to Maldonado. IF they have equivalent/better performance in relation to the rest of the field next year KERS is a must and they will be mixing it up.

    11. The New Pope
      11th May 2011, 4:45

      I love Caterham F1!

    Comments are closed.