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27 August 2011

Team Lotus: Belgian Formula One GP 2011

26 August 2011

Free Pactice 1 and FP2

Karun Chandhok, Chassis T128-04 (FP1): "It's good to have been back in the car and despite the weather I enjoyed my time out there today. I had traffic on what would have been my quickest lap, but the chance to spend more time in the cockpit is always useful and as it was a bit of a stop-start session for everyone I pretty much did as much as I could today."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "It's always difficult in weather like this to get anything meaningful done, but we did get out on both the mediums and the softs and have a bit of data from those runs that'll be useful for Sunday. Tomorrow should be interesting - it looks like rain but we've always done pretty well in qualifying in the changeable conditions so let's see what we can do with strategy tomorrow afternoon - whatever happens I'm sure it'll be a good session for the fans!"

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "Despite it being a typical Spa day it was still pretty positive for me. We obviously knew what the conditions would be and had a plan to work around that, so we managed to get through most of what we wanted on the tyres, engine and setup and I think we're ok for quali when it looks like it'll be similar weather. One good point is that we were trouble-free in all the runs today so I think it's important we keep that up all weekend and give ourselves a chance to be in the mix if anything happens in qualifying or the race."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "As Spa is one of the most demanding tracks of the season on the engines we always have to achieve as much as we can here on Friday, whatever happens with the weather. The drivers spend a lot of the lap at full throttle, particularly on the run down to Eau Rouge and along the back straight, so we had a runplan for today that was based around the weather conditions that we had and we were able to complete most of the goals we had set ourselves for both sessions. Obviously we could not complete as much mileage as we would have liked, but we were able to work on the wet setup we may well have to use tomorrow, and the dry setup that hopefully we will be using on Sunday so despite the rain it has been a pretty good day for us."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "An interesting day with fairly typical weather conditions for this track. This morning Karun did a solid job for us and ran some aero checks early on, but then the rain brought an end to any meaningful running in his session. This afternoon, although Heikki wasn't able to complete his run on the softs we still managed to complete a run on the mediums for him and Jarno did get through some laps on the softs so at least we have banked some time on track on both compounds. Now we will have to see what the weather decides to do in qualifying and the goal for Saturday and Sunday is the same as it has been all season - see if we can push the cars directly ahead and make sure we have a problem free race."

Riad Asmat, Group CEO: "It is good to be back racing and to see that the whole team has come back from the break raring to go. There is a good spirit in the garage and everybody is determined to make sure we work as hard as we can to consolidate tenth place and take whatever opportunities present themselves, particularly on a track like Spa where the weather conditions may mean we can use strategy and a bit of luck to take the fight to the cars ahead."

27 August 2011

FP3 and Qualifying

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "I think we can be very pleased with the performance today. That last lap in Q1 was as much as I could get out of the car and to get back into Q2 is obviously a great result for the whole team. We had the right plan for the conditions, put it into action on track and it paid off. I don't think I could have got any more out of the package today, so finishing where we did goes down as objective achieved for today. It looks like it'll be a dry race tomorrow, and I think the key for us is to make sure both cars finish. If we can do that, be there to take advantage of anything that happens, and leave Spa having got into Q2 and had a solid race, this will go down as a good weekend for us."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "Another good day for the team and congratulations for Heikki for getting back into Q2. For me it was looking pretty good until traffic pretty much ruined my second run, but the car felt good as the track was drying up and we were definitely on the right strategy for the conditions so it's a shame we couldn't make the most of it, but when everyone's out like that trying to get times in you're always going to have some issues with traffic, and it's unlucky it hit my last run in Q1 today."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "From our perspective that goes down as a good day. Heikki drove very well in the conditions and to put his car into the second qualifying session was a good result for the whole team. It is a shame Jarno had traffic on his last run as he had a chance of getting into Q2 as well, but I think we achieved what we wanted to in both sessions so that is very satisfying."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was an exciting qualifying session for us! Obviously it was great for Heikki to get into Q2 and it was particularly impressive as he was held up in the last corner in Q1 so had more time to come from that lap. I think Jarno would have got into Q2 as well but he was held up on his last run but despite that we can be very satisfied with the effort of the whole team and now we are looking forward to a strong race tomorrow."

Riad Asmat, Group CEO: "I am delighted with today's performance from right across the whole team. We had worked this morning on turning the cars around quickly in the garage to take advantage of whatever the weather threw at us in qualifying and it paid dividends with a good use of strategy, some great driving and very solid teamwork to put Heikki into Q2. Jarno was on course to join him as well but suffered from traffic, so with the good reliability we have had all weekend, a very good performance today, now we want to put together the perfect weekend for us and have a clean, problem free Sunday."

28 August 2011

Race

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "For me and the whole team that was a really good race. I had a great start, passing a few other cars away from the line but then the accident in T1 meant both Heikki and I suffered damage - him to his nosecone, me to the floor and I had to run the whole race with that damage, so to finish 14th after that is just fantastic. Apart from the start I enjoyed the whole race - I passed a number of cars and when the safety car came out I was able to close the gap to the cars ahead. That gave me the chance to fight with the Renault and I passed him and was then able to keep pace with the other guys ahead. One of the best points of the race was the first stop I made - I came in just behind one of the HRTs and the pitcrew did a brilliant job to get me out fast enough to pass him in the pitlane, so I want to thank them and the whole team for a really solid weekend. Racing like this, with no problems and with a car I can fight with all afternoon is very satisfying, so now I can't wait to get back in when we get to Italy and keep up the momentum we've built up here."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "That was a good race for us, obviously apart from the start! I got off the line well but it all tightened up at the first corner and I touched Jarno after someone else had hit me - I was caught in a bit of a sandwich but after I'd pitted and had a new nose it all went pretty well from there. The soft tyres weren't working quite as well as the mediums, but I was still able to push and the main thing is we had a two car finish in strong positions, so that's a good end to the weekend."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "We can be very pleased with the result today. Our race performance was good and we were able to show that the setups we had worked on in the practice sessions were right for today, giving us the chance to fight and manage the tyres well all afternoon. We enjoy races like this!"

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That is a very good result for the whole team today and goes down as one of our strongest performances since we came into the sport. We had a poor start where both cars were last after making contact in the first corner but we recovered very well, and to have finished in 14th and 15th after that is very pleasing. Both drivers were excellent today, but the pitcrew deserve special praise for having taken a massive step forward in their performance. All our stops were exactly what we needed so congratulations to them for a job very well done today."

Riad Asmat, Group CEO: "I want to thank the whole team for today's performance, and the jobs everyone has done all weekend. The main aim was to make sure both cars saw the chequered flag, and we wanted to be in the mix to take advantage of any opportunities that presented themselves and finish as high as we could reasonably expect. 14th and 15th means we achieved that, and everyone played their part in making sure we leave Spa on a high, so this goes down as a very good weekend."