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12 November 2010

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3 and qualifying

The perfect end to Lotus Racing’s final qualifying session of the season saw the battle of the new teams culminate in a dominant display by the Anglo-Malaysian squad, with Jarno Trulli finishing in 19th place, over half a second ahead of Timo Glock, and Heikki Kovalainen very close behind Jarno in 20th.

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-02) FP3: 23 laps, best time 1.45.048, 20th / QUALIFYING: 19th, 1.43.516, 11 laps “That was great and I’m delighted we finished the last qualifying session of the season as best of the new teams. The car was really good this afternoon which is a little surprising as I had quite a bit of rear-locking under braking which we didn’t have in FP3. Nevertheless, the track was improving throughout the session, so it was important to get a good lap in at the end which I managed to do. I think I could have found another tenth but I just wanted to make sure we were in front, and the fact we are, with a decent gap to Timo, is a sign of how well we are finishing the season.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-03) FP3: 15 laps, best time 1.44.876, 19th / QUALIFYING: 20th, 1.43.712, 11 laps “I thought the session was ok for me but congratulations to Jarno for putting in a great qualifying lap. I think I put in as good a performance as I could, and as both cars are ahead of our direct rivals it’s where we want to be. We’ll look to carry over today’s performance into the race tomorrow and the main aim is to end the season as best of the new teams.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I don’t think we could have asked for any more today. Both cars were strong, well balanced and dominated the other new teams which was the number one goal. We have worked hard all weekend to get the best out of the tyres, and both Jarno and Heikki did that in qualifying, putting us in a very strong position for tomorrow’s race.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “That was a fantastic display from the whole team. To end the final qualifying session of 2010 so far ahead of our main rivals is a great effort, and is just reward for the extremely hard work everyone has put in throughout the whole season. I have enjoyed every second of this weekend so far. On top of the strong performances on track yesterday and today, we have been able to take a few more important steps forward for 2011 and next year is looking more exciting than ever. However, for now it is all about this weekend. Richard Branson and I were measured up for our flight attendant uniforms today and that adds an extra bit of excitement to tomorrow’s battle, but now it is all about making sure we keep our concentration and focus and finish the season as well as we did today.”