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31 July 2011

Team Lotus: Hungarian Formula One GP 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "I'm very happy today. I want to thank the whole team, everyone at the factory and in the race team because they have all been patient with me and have worked hard to give me the new power steering system and a car that I can really feel. As soon as I pulled out this morning it felt so much better than before so today I've been able to start rebuilding my confidence in the car, and working on all the little changes and improvements that help me to find a setup I can really work with. It's been a really positive day and for that my thanks go to everyone in the team."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "It feels like we have taken a step forward with the updates we've brought to the back end of the car but I still need to work on finding a balance I'm happy with. We tried a few different setup options today but I couldn't really find the best solution on either compounds, but we've completed a lot of mileage so I'm sure we'll find the right way forward tomorrow."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "A good Friday for the team. We have completed a very decent number of laps and worked through all the engine maps we will need to use here. Driveability is the key to maximising engine performance at this circuit and with the amount of data we have generated today on both cars I am sure we can find more time for qualification tomorrow for both Jarno and Heikki."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was one of the best Fridays we have had this year. We have made some modifications to the diffuser and those changes have definitely worked, and with Jarno immediately telling us the new power steering system is working exactly as we wanted it to we have been able to push closer to the cars ahead than we have for a while. On Heikki's car we need to work on finding him a balance he is happy with and we will see how we have got on with that tomorrow, but overall this has been a very positive Friday."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "I am very pleased with today's work across the whole team. Back at the factory we have put in a lot of hours on the updates we have brought here, both on the diffuser and the new steering system, and it is clear from both drivers' laptimes that those efforts have closed the gap to the teams ahead more than we have seen for several races. Jarno in particular has been able to push today and he reported that as his confidence increases he will be able to find more time, so I think quali tomorrow could be very interesting."

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "After a bit of a tough weekend so far I'm really pleased with how quali finished up. I've not been able to find a balance I'm happy with all weekend and we made a couple of changes for qualifying that finally took us in the right direction. On the first run I couldn't get a clean lap together, but I was quietly optimistic we could hook it all up on the second run and that's how it ended up. I had to work pretty hard to get it all right and it's very pleasing to see it come good in the last minutes of Q1. The updates we've brought here are working very well for us and it looks like we've made a gain relative to the guys ahead, and with Jarno clearly much more competitive here the mood is really good across the whole team."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "This has been a very good day, even though in qualifying I didn't manage to get everything I could out of the car. On the first run we went with the prime and the car was oversteering a little. On the second run we went onto the super softs and found more understeer than I'd had all weekend so I wasn't really able to find the pace I'd had yesterday and this morning. Despite that I am really pleased with how this weekend's gone. The new power steering system has transformed the car for me and I'm so much happier now - it's really like night and day, and I can't wait to get back in tomorrow and see what we can do in the race. The difference between the two tyre choices means strategy will come into play in a big way, so let's see what we can do."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "We can all be pleased with the performance today. From the engine side we have been working on giving the drivers the right engine maps for this track, focusing on driveability which is key to maximising on this type of twisty track and I think both drivers extracted as much as they could from the complete package today. Our race pace looks pretty good for tomorrow as well so I think we are in a good position all round."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was a pretty good qualifying for the team. We only ran one set of options on both cars in Q1 to save them for the race which will put us in good a position for the race tomorrow with the degradation levels we are going to see. Both drivers did a good job today. Jarno has been much happier with the car all weekend but couldn't quite translate that into his qualifying runs. He made a couple of small mistakes on his quickest lap which cost him a bit but it is good to see how well he has responded to the updates we have brought. Heikki has been less happy with the balance this weekend but he did an excellent job to get the most out of the car, so well done to him and the whole team."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "Firstly I want to say how pleased we all are with jarno's performance this weekend, in and out of the car. He has responded exactly as we would have hoped to the updates introduced here and has shown exactly why he is rightly considered one of the fastest drivers out there. On the qualifying session itself, I think we have to be reasonably pleased with how that went. Heikki put in a great final lap to edge just ahead of Jarno, and to finish less than three tenths from Buemi and about five tenths from Maldonado suggests that the changes we have made here have paid dividends. Both drivers have said they probably could not have found much more from the cars, but after very solid performances in all three practice sessions, and with good pace in the long runs yesterday, I think we are in good shape for tomorrow's race."

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04: "A weekend of real ups and downs for me. I struggled to find a decent balance in the practice sessions but then it all came good in quali where I put in a really good lap after finally getting comfortable with the setup. I started the race well and was keeping pace with Maldonado, Sutil, Perez and the guys around me, and right through the early stops I was able to push them, and keep pulling away from the guys behind. We came in for inters when the rain really started again about two thirds of the way through the race, then back in pretty shortly afterwards for options again, but then I was given the instruction to shut the engine off due to a water leak. Having seen how close we were in race pace to the midfield I'm not disappointed - it's just another step in the growth of the team and we'll pick up where we left off in Belgium in a few weeks time."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01: "My run of bad luck in Hungary seems to have struck again! The car has been great all weekend and even though I didn't have the best start I was really enjoying myself out there. I got past Timo pretty early on and then had a good first stop but it looks like a water leak brought my race to an early end. Despite that, the steps forward we've taken here have been really positive, so after the break I'm sure we'll be back fighting again at Spa."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "That was a bit of a hard race for us. Heikki had a good start and was right in the mix but reliability issues brought both his race and Jarno's to an end. We obviously wanted to complete the full race distance so now we need to make sure that we do not see this sort of problem again."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A disappointing end to a strong race. Jarno stopped with a water leak and it looks like the same problem also ended Heikki's race later on, but we need to get the cars back and take a closer look before we can be sure what the problems were. Until they stopped both Jarno and Heikki were having strong races, particularly Heikki in the middle stint when he was keeping a lot of cars behind him. So, overall it is disappointing to end like this, but we have definitely taken a step forward here so now we can go into the well deserved mid-season break which the whole team, here at the track and back at the factory, definitely deserve, and come back refreshed and ready for an even better second half of the season when we return in Spa."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "What a shame our weekend ended like that. Heikki had driven a fantastic race and had been fighting right up until the end with the guys ahead - his pace was better than we have seen all season so it is obviously very disappointing that through no fault of his own he could not bring the car home. Jarno's race was also cut short which, after such a strong weekend for him, compounds the disappointment, but sometimes these things happen and we just have to make sure we learn from it, build on the positives and keep on pushing forwards."