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22 May 2011

Team Lotus - Turkish Grand Prix 2011

20 May 2011
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: "Overall we can be very happy about this Friday. I think we've seen an improvement today on where we were and throughout the sessions we could see that we were getting more and more out of the new package. The gap to the cars ahead seems reasonably small so I think it's all positive. The key point is that there is a lot more to come out of it. Optimising the whole update will take time and even though the car felt good on both the options and the primes we know that after going through the data tonight we can make more improvements tomorrow, and in the coming races."


Jarno Trulli, Car 21: "A bit of a mixed day for me. The team made a change to my steering in the morning session which meant I couldn't complete the program in FP1 but in the afternoon session we completed a decent number of laps and I could start to feel where we have found some improvements on the car. For much of the day I didn't really feel like I was getting the most out of it but we have found some of the pace we want to with the updates and with more work there is clearly much more to come."


Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "In FP1 we struggled a bit with Jarno as we had a couple of mechanical issues which needed to be resolved during the session. That cut into the program but we redoubled our efforts in FP2 and have had some good feedback from both drivers, especially from Jarno on the new package overall. We have generated a great deal of data from the mileage we completed today so we will analyse that and look to implement it in FP3 and qualifying tomorrow."


Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was a very interesting and useful day, and good to put so many laps on the new package. As we expected the behaviour of the car is now quite different to what we have been working with so far this season and it will take a lot of fine tuning to get the best out of all the improvements, but I think that on the soft tyre and the longer runs we could clearly see some of the improvements we were aiming for. There are obviously areas we need to focus on, but those can all be dialled out, so all in all this has been a good day with the new package, well done to the whole team for working hard to get it all working so well on the car on its debut and I am sure there is much more to come."


Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "I always thought it would take some time for us to maximise the potential of the updates we have applied here, especially for the drivers who have basically a new rear end of the car to get to grips with. However, I am very happy with the mileage we have accumulated today and the fact we are faster than we have been before. I cannot remember a Friday when we have run so many laps and that has given us a lot of very useful data for Marianne and her team to work on in the wind-tunnel. We clearly performed very well on the options, maybe not so well on the primes, but for me, even though I am not a veteran of this sport, I knew it would take time to integrate the updates so I keep realistic goals and know that we will keep working hard and moving forward step by step."

21 May 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: "This is obviously a great day for Team Lotus and I want to thank everyone here and back at the factory for working so hard to get us to this next step in our story. There is a lot more to come from this car and while we have performed really well today we can see that we can keep progressing and taking the fight to the cars around us on merit. With the work we did overnight and in FP3 I can feel that we have found a much better balance in the high-speed corners, and we can work more on how it feels in the low speed corners which is where I think we will find even more time, but for now this is a good feeling and puts us into a good position for the race tomorrow."

Jarno Trulli, Car 21: "First I want to congratulate to the whole team for getting Heikki into Q2. That's a great achievement for us and a sign of what's to come. For me the session was interrupted by what looks like an electrical issue that meant I was stuck in second gear when I went out for my first run, but we changed the steering wheel and I managed to get a lap in right in the last few seconds that still put me ahead of Rubens, so we'll start tomorrow from 18th and with the pace we have in the car in race conditions I think we'll have a good afternoon."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "We worked hard last night on the data from yesterday and in this morning's session we were able to do more work with the floor and the new exhaust which I think helped us perform so well today. Heikki reaching Q2 is very good news for the whole team, and we feel that there is a lot more to come. Rather than just working on different parts of the car and making those parts work, we will be able to make them work well together and the results of this will continue to be seen as we progress through the season. The plan for tomorrow is to keep our focus on maintaining our reliability. The performance matters throughout the race, not just in qualifying, and we need to see how the tyre degradation influences our strategy but for now congratulations to everyone and we must enjoy this feeling today."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That is a very pleasing result and thank you to the whole team for today's result. We took advantage of the misfortune that befell a couple of the other cars but Heikki did a great job to get the best out of his runs today, and Jarno put in a strong performance to get in a decent time at the end of Q1 after a gearbox problem cut into his first run. Now the important thing is to focus on having a good race tomorrow and learning as much as we can about the upgrades we have brought here over a race distance."

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "I am so thrilled. It is almost unbelievable but this is a great day for Team Lotus and just reward for the effort that the whole team keeps putting in. I am so thrilled for everyone associated with our team. Heikki did a fantastic lap and the whole team worked together brilliantly to give him the chance to take his car into Q2, and on top of that Jarno managed to put in a great lap in the dying seconds to put himself into 18th place under a great deal of pressure. We have a lot of work to do so we are not going to get carried away, but it is important that we enjoy days like this and the feeling that comes with hard work being rewarded with this sort of result. As I keep saying, these small steps will keep us moving up the grid, so well done and thank you to everyone."

22 May 2011

Jarno Trulli, Car 21: "The race was really good. It was another great start for me, another strong start this season, so that was very positive. I gained a number of positions and was right in the race in the beginning. Obviously with soft tyres our car was looking better than it did with the hard tyres and that gave us a very good first couple of stints. Unfortunately towards the middle of the race I felt I had a problem with the exhaust which affected the rear end of the car and meant that my performance was not as good as earlier. But all in all, it was a very good race for me. I fought like a lion and I'm happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today. There's still a bit of work to do to catch up with the guys in front, but it's fantastic that we've lapped the guys behind us once again. The overall aero package is good - we just need to focus on developing that for the future and increase the gap even more from the guys behind, and keep on closing the distance to the cars ahead."

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: "It's a real shame my afternoon came to an end like that. I made a mistake on the entry to turn four and went off but up until that point the race was pretty good. Both Jarno and I were right in the mix early on and we were fighting in the midfield for a lot of the race but then the tyres started to go off and the early pace wasn't there for the later stages of the afternoon. Maybe we should have pitted earlier on but we've still learnt a lot from this weekend and can take that to Monaco where I think it will be a very interesting weekend for everyone."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "We had a good start, particularly Jarno, and in the early stages of the race the pace was ok. Later on we had to manage a couple of small issues on Jarno's car which somewhat compromised his overall speed so we had to manage those throughout the race, but the point is that we have seen the potential of the car. We have made quite a lot of changes over the weekend and now we need to work hard to understand how to maximise the whole package, in set-up and translating that into performance."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was a long hard race that was all about managing the tyres. Both drivers started well but Heikki suffered some damage to his front wing that helped Jarno get past. From then on the pace was good. We were trying to stay on three stops and maybe stopped a little late in the first stint, but in the end it was a shame we were not able to get both cars to the flag. Heikki made a small mistake on lap 52 and then Jarno had a cracked exhaust which meant we had to keep an eye on that, but overall we have made real progress this weekend and have amassed a great deal of data on the new package that will help us learn how to get the most out of all the changes, so it is another positive weekend for the whole team."

Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Team Principal: "The whole weekend has been pretty good for us. We had an excellent result in qualifying and had reasonably high hopes for the race but we always knew it would be tough to replicate what we did on Saturday afternoon over the race distance. We started well and were looking good in the early stages of the race but then Heikki's accident brought his race to an early end and Jarno was pushing as hard as he could on the hard tyres for the final stint but finished a credible 18th. There are a number of positives to take from this afternoon - we were able to fight with the established teams and have shown that we are consistently improving, little by little. That is the key goal for this year and we keep moving forward so we leave Spain pretty pleased overall."