Lotus: Beating a Renault “icing on cake” for Fernandes

2011 Brazilian GP team review

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Tony Fernandes wasn’t just happy with Lotus’s championship result.

Heikki KovalainenJarno Trulli
Qualifying position1920
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’15.068 (-0.29)1’15.358
Race position1618
Pit stops32

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


Heikki Kovalainen91.38982.55282.18181.67880.77680.70480.56380.7380.46580.69280.43280.56780.46380.44680.25280.56885.18997.42880.07379.59579.48879.59879.63179.45779.28779.50279.48879.73279.79281.77783.07495.27478.80278.51582.580.19479.16179.01778.65178.80379.00178.72378.67778.44678.76679.39978.9978.92983.47594.2680.1980.36679.2378.62379.83279.53378.98481.10478.6679.65278.28779.54178.45279.32878.95280.61181.45978.51478.023
Jarno Trulli92.93883.32781.76881.63581.3681.16581.21680.94180.9181.55380.74480.44381.60580.94580.7980.41280.54580.45980.53981.3281.48386.24299.02980.39180.50883.79480.47579.74580.03379.91879.65580.61282.55180.41180.12480.16580.43581.16581.30880.3380.42383.62397.35881.3679.19280.41178.59683.16779.40184.25379.35378.99478.8778.96780.18380.42979.2679.4780.35179.33879.1279.27279.43282.09979.77780.15679.71179.39279.444

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2011
Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 22.854s
Pit stop 2Soft 22.013s
Pit stop 3Medium 21.478s

Lotus’s much-vaunted new rear wing did not provide the leap forward the team were hoping for. Kovalainen was the faster of the two drivers in qualifying as usual, four-tenths of a second off Pastor Maldonado and six-tenths off reaching Q2.

Kovalainen had a straightforward run to 16th, ahead of the delayed Bruno Senna, which guaranteed tenth in the championship for Lotus. It earns them a financial windfall of several million pounds.

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “Two years of hard work have paid off today and it was great to see both cars home safely, helping us win tenth place.”

Fernandes revealed that, despite the settling of the naming row with rivals Renault, he still takes particular satisfaction from beating them: “The icing on the cake was beating a Renault – that meant a lot to me as I have always said the good guys do win. We have a fantastic little team here.”

Fernandes added: “Now we look forward to our new life as Caterham F1 Team and we say goodbye to Team Lotus. Colin [Chapman] – we hope we did you proud and we hope you keep an eye over us as Caterham F1 Team. We know we will do you proud there as well.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 22.616s
Pit stop 2Medium 21.555s

Trulli’s weekend was clouded by rumours that, despite his contract for 2012, he could yet be pushed aside for another driver, possibly Red Bull-backed Daniel Ricciardo.

He did little to dissipate the speculation with another indifferent performance. He was out-qualified by Kovalainen for the 16th time and finished almost 40 seconds behind his team mate.

Luiz Razia

Drove Jarno Trulli’s car in first practice.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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    Image © Team Lotus

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    Keith Collantine
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    15 comments on “Lotus: Beating a Renault “icing on cake” for Fernandes”

    1. I noticed during qualifying that on more than one occassion Trulli and Kovalainen were both quick enough to get into Q2 after the second sector but then lost about 3 or 4 tenths down the home straight. I’m guessing this is down to KERS or lack of top speed. Once they get KERS next year I hope that Lotus can challenge the midfield teams, finally!

      1. @Smifaye Yep, the drivers with KERS were using half or more of it at the exit of Juncao to get them up the hill.

    2. For me, HK has been the 5th best driver this year!

    3. I think that next year Caterham will be able to beat Lotus more often than Lotus was able to defeat Renault in 2011.

      With all due respect to Jarno, I think his time in F1 is up. Please sign Ricciardo Tony, both Heikki and Daniel need a strong driver to measure themselves against.

    4. Wish Fernandes would give it a rest now. It’s not like all the guys in the garage putting in the hard work are responsible for the name row.

    5. I really do have high hopes for Caterham next season. Say what you want about their first two seasons (and Tony Fernandes), but they have done a very solid job and have been by far the most professional of the new teams, regularly giving the tail end of the midfield something to think about this year. With the improvements that are bound to come when the new car is launched, and finally having KERS, it won’t be long before they score points.

      Heikki and Jarno have been polar opposites this season. Heikki has been epic. Getting every drop of performance out of the T128, keeping a smile on his face and while absolutely hammering Trulli in qualifying and the races. If he isn’t back on the big teams radars there is something wrong with the world. Jarno on the other hand has been hopeless. Constantly complaining while looking completely disinterested from the first to the last race. Me thinks it is time for you to focus on grapes rather than grip old bean.

      1. @geeMac I reckon Heiki is a solid driver but your quote “big teams radars there is something wrong with the world” I tend to disagree with. He had his fair chances in McLaren but didn’t squeezed out the maximum. There are more deserving candidate (Sutil, Koba) for the bigger teams.
        And we are comparing his performance with certainly lackluster Trulli, his performance was so poor that even we don’t know whether Heiki extracted most out of the car .

        1. Hmm, not so sure I agree on Sutil, Kobayashi maybe.

          The point I was trying to make re Trulli vs Heikki was that at least Heikki looked like he was trying to improve. Trulli has spent the last 2 years tootling round at the back with seemingly no desire to push the tem forward.

          1. if anything glock deserves a decent drive over kobayashi. His later performances for toyota were great and he was still relatively new…. I think he could really do great things with a good car.

    6. that’d be a brilliant move, come on Tony! replace Trulli with Ricciardo!

      1. Curious. Honestly I have also become of the idea that Trulli’s passed his best.

    7. Performance of the last race was very impressive. as they said, they could challenge to get into Q2 with their own performance. well, it never happened though they were very close. with KERS and better aero, they should be serious threat to established teams!

    8. Trulli needs to go, would love to see Ricciardo there.

    9. As said above, I can’t wait to see these guys with KERS. If they continue to develop next season as they have this season then they will have little trouble causing headaches for the guys ahead.

    10. If I have one optimistic thought about Sky coming in it’s that they might do more for the support and feeder series, in MotoGP if you see the end of your premier series career then you can still get a drive and perform for your fans in Moto2 or WSB.. It would be nice to know that as well as the 24 seats in F1 people like D’Ambrosio, Trulli, The STR boys etc etc could confidently take a GP3 drive knowing a return to F1 in 2013 doesn’t rely on ‘doing a Hulkenburg’

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