Lotus: Kovalainen unhappy with strategy before crash

2011 Spanish GP team review

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Lotus claimed their upgrade package would be worth a second per lap but had to readjust their expectations on Friday.

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “I always thought it would take some time for us to maximise the potential of the updates we have applied here, especially for the drivers who have basically a new rear end of the car to get to grips with.”

Heikki KovalainenJarno Trulli
Qualifying position1518
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’25.874 (-0.647)1’26.521
Race position18
Pit stops33

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


Heikki Kovalainen104.27694.46193.38893.22392.94292.65792.85492.77492.97293.16893.4594.65595.64594.94995.93899.751110.40293.2492.21992.3992.94792.62392.42692.6694.4692.91894.04897.716108.81891.67990.88992.32290.71690.61890.75191.47191.30591.68992.25193.08797.836111.37690.74792.06397.61893.74791.65191.392
Jarno Trulli103.55393.96893.37693.15492.95192.90592.83192.89593.06893.07493.41994.54994.93995.45497.064111.01491.75291.88391.76591.68491.68691.58191.58191.54991.67892.11192.26694.44695.725110.81991.0992.590.98890.78391.13890.81692.93491.22392.79791.87692.64391.5994.702112.84992.23392.42691.86791.97493.55793.81592.77692.33497.05192.83393.32892.57991.78492.08195.22893.39293.951
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Barcelona, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Was encouraged by the progress made on Friday, saying: “I think we’ve seen an improvement today on where we were and throughout the sessions we could see that we were getting more and more out of the new package.

“The gap to the cars ahead seems reasonably small so I think it’s all positive.”

He made it into Q2 thanks to the problems suffered by Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello. Qualified 15th as neither of the Force Indias used soft tyres.

The team kept him out until lap 16 before making his first pit stop, by which time he was losing around three seconds per lap. Kovalainen said afterwards it had been a “poor call”, leaving him “left out for too long losing a lot of time”.

On lap 48 he braked too late for turn four, got on to the tyre marbles and hit the barrier.

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Trulli continued to have problems with the power steering on the T128 during practice. In qualifying a gearbox problem meant he only had one chance to set a time.

He picked up three places at the start and ran as high as eighth before his first pit stop. After that he slipped back and finished where he started.

He said: “Unfortunately towards the middle of the race I felt I had a problem with the exhaust which affected the rear end of the car and meant that my performance was not as good as earlier.

“But all in all, it was a very good race for me. I fought like a lion and I’m happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today.

“There’s still a bit of work to do to catch up with the guys in front, but it’s fantastic that we’ve lapped the guys behind us once again. The overall aero package is good – we just need to focus on developing that for the future and increase the gap even more from the guys behind, and keep on closing the distance to the cars ahead.”

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    13 comments on “Lotus: Kovalainen unhappy with strategy before crash”

    1. Douglas62500
      23rd May 2011, 11:56

      Fingers crossed for this team. Let’s just hope that could sort out their upgrades and chase down Williams.

      1. Ditto!

    2. Respect for Trulli to keep going after having the umpteenth problem with a gearbox or power steering.

      Looks like Lotus is getting a competative speed into their car. But the reliability must stem Virgin hopefull they might still catch them.

      1. Trulli always has problems, he’s never satisfied with the car but qualifies close to Kovalainen (although I feel he exaggerates at times). If he had a working car what would he do? Still, nice to see Lotus so ahead in qualifying.

    3. Looking at that laptime chart, both Lotus cars seem to have run about two or three laps too long on the first, and at least a lap too many on second stint.

      Glad to finally see Trulli be a bit more positive, it was about time. It is not as easy as the team claimed at the start of the season to make up time, but they do seem to be making progress.

    4. Yeh seemed a bit of a poor strategy from Lotus…

    5. Funny really that in the year when Team Lotus start getting their act together, the racing at the front is so compelling that they hardly get seen at all.

      Kovalainen’s crash would have got about a dozen replays for most of the last decade, but this time we only saw a puff of dust from an on-board shot as Vettel passed the scene…

    6. I hope that they continue to improve. I love their colors and their link to Caterham.

    7. “But all in all, it was a very good race for me. I fought like a lion and I’m happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today”.

      Trulli finally sounds happy about something. Lets hope things continue to improve for him.

    8. but had to readjust their expectations on Froday.


      1. Typo. Fixed.

    9. Great qualifying from Lotus! The choice of tyres from Force India shouldn’t take away from their achievement. Keep it up. Gutted for Heikki though.

    10. Keep up the good work.

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