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17 April 2011

Team Lotus - Chinese Grand Prix 2011

15 April 2011

Luiz Razia: "It was good to get back in the car and even though the suspension issue brought the session to an earlier end than we would have liked I could still feel that the car has taken a step forward since I last drove it in Barcelona. I was taking it steadily, aiming to bring the lap times down and give the team some useful feedback so it's a shame I couldn't complete the plan, but that's racing."

Heikki Kovalainen (car 20): "It's good to get through the whole day with no reliability issues and hopefully that sets us up well for the weekend ahead. The car had a good balance this morning but this afternoon the changes we made maybe didn't take us in the right direction so I wasn't quite as comfortable in FP2. I had a few issues with traffic on my performance run which meant I couldn't get everything out of it but having had a clear day we'll put in the work tonight as see where we are tomorrow."

Jarno Trulli (car 21): "Clearly it's good that I had a trouble free afternoon but I am struggling a bit with the balance to be honest. We'll work on that tonight with the data we've generated today and with another clear session tomorrow we should be able to pick up where we left off in Malaysia."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "That was a good Friday engine-wise. We were able to set up the engines according to the driver requests and we worked through a program that tested a number of maps and the feedback we have had is good. We have definitely taken another step on from Sepang and as the ambient conditions here are less severe than in Malaysia the engine is consequently under less stress so I think we should be able to continue the progress through qualifying and into the race and maximise our performance across the weekend."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was a far more productive Friday than we have had in the two previous races this season and I think it is a measure of our increased competitiveness that we are actually a little disappointed with the overall pace. We ran Luiz Razia this morning and he did a good job for the team, despite having a suspension problem that brought his run to a premature end. With the race drivers we completed the full programme on each car but traffic interrupted both their runs on the soft tyres so we are a little disappointed that we were not able to show more pace that we know is in the cars. The tyres are working pretty well here - we have found our way around the warm up issues, so while today is satisfying in terms of reliability, there is definitely more to come tomorrow and we want to be pushing towards Q2."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "I think that was a pretty good day for the team. We put in the laps and have accumulated some good data on the tyres so I think we're in good shape for tomorrow and Sunday."

16 April 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: "From my perspective I'm very happy with that. I left it all until the last minute and swapped to a one lap run, putting myself under a bit of pressure, but I put in a good final lap and got under 1.38. After FP3 we already knew we'd have a bit of a tricky qualifying session as the track temperatures were a lot lower than yesterday and that definitely affects our car. We're quite easy on the tyres and when the temperatures drop we need to work harder to get them up to the optimum heat, which means we don't get everything out of them, but in the race conditions we're definitely stronger and you can see that we're steadily doing what we want which is to keep pushing towards the midfield."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21: "I am really happy from the driving point of view because I pushed hard out there today and said over the radio that I think I got as much as I possibly could out of the car today. I'm still working on finding the right balance but little by little we're progressing so I think we keep on doing a good job across the whole team and after a good weekend from the reliability point of view we should have a good race tomorrow."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "From the engine side we have made another step forwards. The improvements across the car from the beginning of the year are starting to pay dividends and we are now close to the optimum engine strategy. Even though we have a lot more work to do I think we are getting closer to unlocking the real potential of the car so we are pretty happy with where we are now, and the direction we are heading in."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A trouble free day but disappointing in terms of performance. In the cooler conditions we clearly struggled more with the tyres than last week and yesterday and we were some way off the level of performance we expected. However, we have seen that even in these conditions our race pace is much better and we are considerably more competitive so I think we can take the race to the midfield group in front and do ourselves justice."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "We are realistic and we all knew when we woke up that the considerably lower temperature would mean we would struggle to replicate what we did in the yesterday's practice. Despite that we have had a good weekend so far, pretty much trouble free, and I know from talking to a few of the teams just ahead of us that we are starting to play a part in their strategies as they know we are very close to being able to take the fight to them in real pace. So, even though the gap is a bit bigger today than we would have liked, it is still clear that our steady progress will pay dividends over the long term."

17 April 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - qualified 19th, finished : "That is our best ever performance. It's not the highest place we've had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am very happy, with my performance and the performance of the whole team. We knew we would struggle in the cool conditions yesterday but today the temperatures rose and we expected to be able to put in the sort of race that would do justice to the pace that is in the car. We will keep working hard to improve the car's behaviour in the cooler conditions and we can only get better from here."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - qualified 20th, finished: "I had a good start and then Heikki and I were able to pull away from the cars behind and keep to the strategy to fight with the guys ahead. My first stop wasn't great and I'm still having a few issues with the tyre degradation but really today is about the team result. We have shown we are developing exactly as we want to and that's a huge motivation for everyone."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "That is a very good result for the whole team and it is important we enjoy it. The key goal today was to get both cars across the finish line and to achieve that, and beat both Perez and Maldonado is a big step forward for us. A very satisfying day."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was an absolutely fantastic race from both drivers and from the pitcrew who performed brilliantly under huge pressure. It is very satisfying to have beaten two other midfield teams on track on pace and strategy and to be able to show that we have bridged the gap to the established teams. Both drivers made a good start and with the higher track temperatures we knew our race pace would be good, and so it proved. With the tyre degradation we were able to stick to two stops, which was always our plan and that allowed us to jump a couple of people, giving us our strongest race in F1. Additionally, we were only lapped once, right towards the end of the race, so I am very proud of the whole team today."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "I am actually lost for words. We were racing today, actually taking on teams who have been in the sport for many years, and even though there is a huge amount of work ahead of us, now we need to enjoy this moment, build on this feeling and keep moving forwards."