Lotus: Kovalainen races in midfield before stopping

2011 Hungarian GP team review

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Kovalainen diced with Renault, Sauber, Force India and Williams drivers before retiring.

Heikki KovalainenJarno Trulli
Qualifying position1819
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’24.362 (-0.172)1’24.534
Race position
Pit stops51

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


Heikki Kovalainen127.536114.643110.01108.408106.647106.105105.572104.904104.223104.065103.485106.057118.88394.44993.10892.30192.73891.55191.35591.0691.22591.04690.1894.015111.65589.34993.67293.3690.99790.80589.95390.3991.76589.49989.77591.36390.88290.80389.75490.13691.18690.0994.906107.598.94198.28491.11699.118105.296117.0496.888102.014111.1787.14990.315
Jarno Trulli129.844115.682112.007109.69107.875107.041106.893104.851104.357103.78103.956102.758108.273122.2396.295.25295.534
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Only three-tenths of a second off Sebastien Buemi in qualifying – but that was largely down to the Toro Rosso driver not using super-soft tyres in Q1.

Kovalainen stayed 18th at the start but moved past Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock on lap two in a move unseen by the cameras.

He gained another place thanks to Pastor Maldonado’s drive-through penalty, but lost the place and another to Sutil before coming into the pits for the second time on lap 24.

Kovalainen escaped a penalty for an unsafe release from the pits after being investigated. On lap 27 Sergio Perez overtook him under yellow flags at turn one, for which the Sauber driver received a drive-through penalty.

But by the time he served it six laps later Perez was far enough ahead to come out of the pits in front of Kovalainen.

With Heidfeld’s car smouldering in the pits, Kovalainen’s race with the midfield runners was now over. His race went awry when he pitted for intermediates on lap 49. But it mattered little as a water leak ended his race six laps later.

Still, he was encouraged by the car’s performace: “Having seen how close we were in race pace to the midfield I’m not disappointed – it’s just another step in the growth of the team and we’ll pick up where we left off in Belgium in a few weeks time.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Back in the car after Karun Chandhok’s one-off appearance. Trulli proclaimed himself “very happy” with the changes Lotus made to the car’s steering for this weekend.

Even so Kovalainen held the upper hand for the tenth time in 11 races in qualifying, edging Trulli by just over a tenth of a second.

Trulli lost two places at the start and ran 21st before passing Timo Glock. But he too was struck down by a water leak not long after his first pit stop.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    18 comments on “Lotus: Kovalainen races in midfield before stopping”

    1. I thought Penalties had to be served within three laps? Maybe I’m just crazy.

      1. I think that includes three laps before the penalty was served

        1. Exactly – there was a gap between Perez passing Kovalainen and getting a penalty.

          Maybe this was an example of Racewatch at work?

          FIA using software to spot race incidents in real-time

          1. Or maybe heard David Coultards comment about the overtake?

        2. Oh… right…

      2. Penlties must be served within three laps of the penalty being issued. In the case of Perez-Kovalainen, the stewards had to look at whether or nor not the cars had passed the yellow flags before Perez made his move. At the same time, they had to keep an eye on the ruins of Heidfeld’s explosion, so the penalty was not issued straight away.

    2. Spotted a typo:

      But by the time he severed it six laps later

      1. Grisly. Fixed, thanks!

    3. I think it is quite obvious that Trulli is greatly improved. In qualifying they were quite even and their first stint in the race was quite equal aswell. It is astonishing Trulli didn’t find a way to drive the car with the old powersteering but for something like a “first race” he showed a solid performance. I hope we will see a midfield Trulli train at some point in the season :-P

      1. I almost thought Trulli was going to out qualify Kovalainen.

        1. He was faster in FP, and I’m sure in the next races he’ll out-qualify him more often.

    4. A double retirement for Lotus, when was the last time that happened? I’m thinking last year?

      1. Three weeks ago :)

        1. Ah. I shall now go stand in the corner looking very red-faced ;)

          1. Maybe the quality assurance guys of Lotus should join, they seem one of the least reliable teams this year, together with Williams.

    5. Incredible how much more encouraging F1Fanatics are towards Team Lotus, at least in comparison to Malaysians themselves. Oh well, I personally hope the Trulli Kovalainen pair start to properly get the midfield’s attention.

      1. Douglas 62500
        2nd August 2011, 11:34

        Personally I really do hope that Trulli would be able to familiarize with the new steering system soon so we fans could see his qualifying artistery once again ! At the beginning of the season probably a lot of us thought Gascoyne was being silly saying they could catch Renault at the end of the season, but, seeing how Renault has rocketed backwards in comparison to others, perhaps, there may be a tiny chance of them catching Renault maybe at the final two races I guess ?

    6. I don’t think Trulli will be racing next year. Team has already shown frustration with him and being benched for two races probably won’t sit too kindly with him. Though as Will Buxton I believe said,”Magically there were no power steering issues this race”

    Comments are closed.