Lotus: Trulli over a minute behind Kovalainen

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

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An unwell Jarno Trulli was outclassed by Heikki Kovalainen in Abu Dhabi.

Heikki KovalainenJarno Trulli
Qualifying position1718
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’42.979 (-0.905)1’43.884
Race position1718
Pit stops22

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


Heikki Kovalainen122.351111.812110.787111.439110.38109.513109.345109.055109.089109.103109.048108.683108.967109.342109.295110.978129.837108.542108.435108.598108.462108.555108.134109.061108.147108.128107.914107.583107.681109.234110.015107.58108.067107.62107.5108.203107.265107.731109.473129.785109.269108.405108.476107.65107.066107.137107.032107.005107.089106.61109.476106.944107.412107.445
Jarno Trulli124.833113.732112.538112.061111.686110.8110.238110.318110.875109.494109.383111.26109.881109.77110.155109.895112.528130.537109.61109.639109.356111.395108.845108.473108.52108.256111.231108.025108.003107.825108.296110.04107.82107.464109.439107.444111.329109.813107.773108.069107.538109.539131.206110.464109.142112.099111.578109.576110.759110.912108.256107.69108.496

Heikki Kovalainen

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 21.146s
Pit stop 2Medium 20.652s

After qualifying ahead of Trulli as usual (the score is now 15-2), Kovalainen’s thoughts were on the next qualifying session rather than the next race:

“I’m looking forward to Brazil where we have an update to the rear wing coming – that should give us a better chance of using the DRS more effectively around the whole lap in qualifying, helping us get much closer to our race pace on Saturday afternoons, so another quick lap like that in Brazil with the update would be a great way to finish the qualifying sessions this season.”

Having started on softs, Kovalainen raced with some of the drivers who had started the race on medium tyres. Such as Kamui Kobayashi, who he passed on lap five in the DRS zone. He also kept the Williams pair behind him before pitting on lap 12 for soft tyres.

But as those who’d started on mediums switched to softs, Kovalainen was unable to keep them behind. Rubens Barrichello passed him on lap 24 and Sergio Perez did likewise ten laps later.

Kovalainen’s last pit stop dropped him behind Bruno Senna, before being demoted to 17th by Jaime Alguersuari.

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 20.824s
Pit stop 2Medium 20.791s

Trulli arrived in Abu Dhabi with a fever and his difficulties were compounded by a loss of track time in final practice due to a gearbox problem.

His clutch slipped at the start and he was passed by Barrichello, Timo Glock and Vitantonio Liuzzi. However he soon passed the HRT driver and moved up to 17th.

Despite running the same strategy as his team mate he finished a huge 64 seconds behind. Much of that was lost in the final stint when they were on medium tyres, when Trulli was 1-2 seconds per lap slower than his team mate and lost more time being lapped.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

    Image © Team Lotus

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    Keith Collantine
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    19 comments on “Lotus: Trulli over a minute behind Kovalainen”

    1. Interesting rumour I heard about Trulli – someone may be able to buy his race seat for the price of half his 2011 salary.

      1. Honestly Trulli deserves retirement more than Barrichello. True, Kovalainen is better than Maldonado, but also when Trulli has used the functioning power-steering he’s failed to beat his team mate. Rubens has done so more often.

    2. Why is Trulli still in F1. His days are long over and I m not saying this based on this performance. He should have been kicked out when Toyota failed to win a race in 2009 despite having huge chances in Malaysia, Japan and Belgium.

    3. I don’t want to come down too hard on Trulli after a weekend of feeling unwell, but how often has he sparkled this year? I would have liked to see some young blood partnering Kovalainen next year, but perhaps Team Lotus just doesn’t have any suitable replacements at hand. I know Chandok and Luis Razia are associated with the team, but neither has impressed me that much.

      1. Maybe its the sport giving him a strong signal that this is where it ends!

      2. I know Chandok and Luis Razia are associated with the team, but neither has impressed me that much.

        I can’t believe that if Fernandes gave up on Trulli, there would have no-one to replace him. Adrian Sutil, anyone?

        1. Looks like Sutil and Barrichello will be the best drivers sitting on the sidelines next year so I hope both get a drive somewhere.

    4. Even without fever Trulli is the man struggling very hard against his team mate,not sure why Lotus had him in 2012,they could have gone for other option.

      1. Indeed, the idea of needing the experience is not the case anymore, because Kovalainen is now a fully developed driver and has plenty of experience. Heikki can lead the team on his own while the other seat should be taken by some young gun.

    5. i think car development can be done by rookies too.. look at Toro Rosso they did a great job of making the car go quicker w/o any veteran driver of development pedigree. They should immediately sign some young rookie who is quick like Hulkenberg or Daniel Riccardo. There is no point in continuing with Trulli.

    6. Trulli might moan about power steering (all the time), but it must have magically fixed itself between laps 32 and 36 if that’s his excuse this time.

    7. I don’t like to bash drivers, but Jarno really does have to go now. 15-2 down in qualifying, finsihing over a minute behind his team mate…he’s been appalling this year. He just hasn’t seemed to be interested in being involved in the sport for the last 2 years.

      Time to hang up your helmet and let Razia or Chandhok have a go Jarno.

      1. I think Chandok would have been two laps behind Kovalainen. It’s a pity that such a great driver like Kovalainen is wasting his talents in this dog of a car. Trulli hasn’t done anything impressive this season, although he was usually not far off his teammate’s pace. It’s the driver Lotus deserves at the moment.

      2. Yeah. I think Jarno has been an above average driver at best, he’s had a reasonable run and it’s time to go, just like Ruebens. They seem to have lost the fight in them. If Trulli goes I don’t think either one of the guys on the books at Caterham will get the seat. It’s gonna be open..fancy Robert Wickens perhaps? Haha

    8. I’ve been very impressed with Kovalainen in the past few races, he has outclassed Trulli, and has given the midfield runners some trouble also. I hope Lotus can significantly improve for next season so we can see him score points.

      1. More and more in actual F1 we are seeing more gap between same team’s drivers. The cars are getting more hard and with adaptation’s need to run on top times. Trulli, Webber and Massa sure can tell us.

    9. Lotus are a difficult one. I don’t know if they seem to be doing so well ‘cos Williams are doing so terribly. Either way, Kovalainen is ragging the hell out of the car. I’m quietly confident that Virgin/Marussia will sort themselves out so perhaps any jump they will make next year will be softened by them being on their backside.

    10. Diogo Silva (@)
      14th November 2011, 23:12

      Kovy clearly one of the top 10 drivers in 2011 !!

      1. hear hear! (or here here!)

        Truill, has done nothing. End.

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