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10 July 2011

Team Lotus: British Formula One Grand Prix 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

Karun Chandhok (FP1) - Chassis T128-04: "That was good a session. Obviously the conditions weren't ideal but it's useful mileage for me to get a feel for the car and the intermediate tyres - I'd never driven on Pirelli's intermediate before and it's a bit different to last year but I enjoyed myself out there and am pleased I've been able to add my contribution here at Silverstone, so close to my home in the UK."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "This morning it was a very good session with the stable conditions we had. This afternoon the weather obviously made our life a little bit tougher and in the end I don't think we ran enough with the intermediate tyre, which was looking pretty good at in the last minutes. But, I think we still completed most of the programme today, so from the data side it was pretty satisfactory."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "That was okay. The conditions were obviously tricky, starting with heavy showers and then drying out towards the end, but everything on the car was fine and the balance of the car felt good on both the wets and the inters. I'm not sure how much we've learnt, it's always difficult with this sort of weather, but it's the same for everyone so hopefully we'll have more time on track tomorrow and we'll see where we are in qualifying."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "We were not able to run so much today due to the weather, but in spite of this we were able to learn quite a bit about the engine behaviour in these conditions, especially on driveability and the cooling configurations of the car which is quite tight in the wet. The main challenge will be to work out the optimum fuel consumption for tomorrow because if it the weather dries up we have not run in dry conditions yet. It will be good for us to have an idea of that, so I hope it will be better in P3 tomorrow to make that a bit easier for us."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Overall, a pretty reasonable day. I think the cars look more competitive than in Valencia and even though the day was made difficult by the changing weather conditions we were still able to try out two different aero configurations this morning, and work through a number of runs on the wet and intermediate compounds, so we will look through the data we have generated tonight and see what we can apply for tomorrow's sessions."

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "It is very good to be back at Silverstone where it all started for this team two years ago when Mike managed to get me into the paddock and we started talking about Team Lotus. The changes to the track here are fantastic, for me this is now the best paddock in the whole calendar so I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the BRDC for having done such a great job on this historic circuit. On track, it was a reasonable day for us - I am not too sure how much we can take from the limited running we had but I am happy with the job that both the race drivers did today, and am pleased that Karun was finally able to complete a decent number of laps in FP1. He is a great asset to our team and we are very pleased to have him on board. I am also delighted to see the continuing development of Caterham Team AirAsia, our GP2 team who are setting very high standards in their first year. They have come together into a race-winning outfit extremely quickly and it is very exciting to see their continued progress from within the heart of the team."

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "I'm very pleased with that. Before qualifying we knew it would be important to get as much as we could out of the dry tyres because the showers were expected - small showers, but we just didn't know when they were going to happen so we had to give it everything on the slicks. At the start of Q1 I managed to get a pretty decent lap in and got everything out of the car almost immediately. Then when I went out for the second run the rain started but having got it right when it was dry we were already where we needed to be so the whole team can be pleased about where we ended up.

"Hopefully I can put in a good race from 17th. I know the whole team is working very well together and even though the outright performance isn't quite there yet, we are still getting everything out of the car and attacking the teams ahead - that's what we're here to do in our second season, so days like today are very encouraging for me and everyone in Team Lotus."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "The rain played its part inQ1 and the session unfortunately was cut short after I'd only had one run. It wasn't quite good enough, which is a shame, but we have one car in Q2 which shows we have the pace to take the fight to the cars ahead, so hopefully I can have a strong race tomorrow, as long as I can avoid any bad luck with the conditions!"

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "This morning in P3 we took a step forward compared to yesterday because we had much improved weather conditions and that definitely helped us in qualifying. We were able to finalise our engine mapping comparisons and focus on the effect of the new regulations which allowed us to make the right decisions for qualifying. That was obviously the right strategy because when you look at Heikki's lap time in Q1 it was very good and that enabled him to get into Q2. Jarno was not so lucky because of the weather - it's always difficult when the conditions change that quickly, but for the whole team this has been a good day."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "I am delighted with our performance today, and especially pleased for Heikki. In conditions like that it is a good result for the whole team to get the strategy calls right and Heikki did exactly what he needed to do to get into Q2, and he gave it his best shot in that session as well so full credit to him. On Jarno's side he has been struggling all day with the balance so I am obviously disappointed for him, but tomorrow in the race I am sure it will be different and he will be able to attack the group in front. Overall this has been a good couple of days for us. The team has reacted well to all the changes we have had had to make with the amendments to the regulations and now we need to round off this weekend with a strong two-car finish and take the fight to the teams immediately in front of us."

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "I am very happy with today's performance. To run like this at Silverstone, where the Team Lotus dream began when I met Mike here, and put a car into Q2 in only our second year is a big achievement. Heikki gave it 100% and Q2 is a deserved reward for his efforts today. I am a bit disappointed for Jarno - we'll have to find out what happened to him because there was quite a big gap between him and Heikki, but now I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. Our race pace has been good all season, so the aim is to maintain our much improved reliability record and see what happens in the race itself."

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "I had a decent start and was getting set to pass Timo but then had the call to stop the car to prevent any damage to the engine because of an oil leak. It's obviously not how we wanted the race to go but our reliability record has improved dramatically this season and this is just one of those blips. I'm sure we'll bounce back at the Nurburgring where we may well have similar weather conditions, so we'll move on and make sure we learn the lessons from this weekend."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "What a shame! I had a really good start but then lost fourth gear and had to retire the car. The conditions out there were exactly what they should be for real drivers - a mix of two types of circuit, one wet, one dry, exactly what I love racing in and the type of race we could have taken advantage of. But these things happen so we'll move on to Germany and keep on pushing."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "After the excellent result we had in qualifying yesterday we were unfortunately unable translate that into a result today because of the mechanical issues we had on both cars. We were not lucky today and that meant it was a short race for us on both sides of the garage. However, I am sure we will find a solution for the problems and make sure we get both cars across the finish line at the next race."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That is obviously a disappointing end to what had been a very encouraging weekend for the team. It looks like Heikki suffered an electrical problem on his gearbox which caused him to lose fourth gear so we had to pull him in and retire him. It was definitely not a problem with the gearbox itself so we need to take a close look at what went wrong on our side and make sure it does not happen again. On Jarno's car we instructed him to stop as he had an oil leak and lost pressure so we had to end his race early to ensure we did not damage the engine. Sometimes races end like this but we have been working very hard to minimise these sorts of problems, so we will regroup and come back stronger in Germany at the next race."

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "That is such a shame. This weekend held huge promise for us after we had performed well on Friday, and especially well on Saturday, and in conditions like these we know both our drivers have the talent and experience to take whatever opportunities present themselves. We have worked very hard on improving the reliability of the cars throughout the season but you can never account for everything that might happen and unfortunately this just turned out to be one of those races that we have to move on from. Despite that, the whole weekend has been very encouraging, particularly for me seeing the huge support we have in the stands where there is a growing legion of fans wearing green and yellow, so now we will do our best to give them something to cheer for in Germany and Hungary before we head into the summer break."