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Lotus confident for race despite missing Q2

Team Lotus has said that it remains optimistic of a good result in the Australian GP despite a disappointing qualifying performance.
Pre-season suggestions that Team Lotus may be ready to mix it with the F1 midfield were a little wide of the mark during qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix, as both Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli again found themselves ousted in phase one.

Although the pair managed to get ahead of Williams' Pastor Maldonado in the third and final free practice session, the achievement was masked by the fact that the Venezuelan rookie spun out after just five laps, and reality was restored in the first 20-minute qualifying session when 19th and 20th positions proved to be the height of possibility.

Both Kovalainen and Trulli reported technical issues which they felt had hampered their performance, with the Finn, in particular, sure that he could have gone faster had the new-for-2011 adjustable rear wing functioned properly.

"Unfortunately, the rear wing was stuck in the high downforce configuration for the second run, which definitely masked the real pace there is in the car," Kovalainen commented, "We've also struggled with getting the most out of the tyres all weekend, but I think the increased temperatures tomorrow will suit the car much more and we'll be in good shape to show what we can really do in the race."

Trulli shared his team-mate's view on the new Pirelli rubber, and was confident that the longer distances the tyres would be required to travel on Sunday would be to the T128's advantage.

"I've had a few issues with the power steering in practice, but the team worked well to resolve that for qualifying and the car definitely felt better than it had this morning and yesterday," the Italian veteran reported, "We'll clearly be much quicker when we can get the tyres up to full temperature, so it'll be an exciting race for us tomorrow and I think we'll be in good shape to push the guys ahead who we were much closer to in the warmer conditions in pre-season testing."

Both team owner Tony Fernandes and chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne insisted that they were happy with the result, although the former admitted that problems in the pre-season had probably played a part in the outcome of the session.

"Obviously, we are paying the price of the limited running we had in testing, but I have to admit I was a bit nervous before the session and, having seen where we ended up, I am pleased with what both drivers produced today," Fernandes claimed, "We continue to learn all the time and, as this is essentially a completely new car, we have to work hard on a number of areas to help us achieve our full potential, particularly on tyre management.

"The car looks like it has Malaysian blood, as it clearly prefers hotter conditions but, despite that, we are all looking forward to the race tomorrow and, with much more development to come here, in Malaysia and China, before we head back to Europe, I am happy with where we are today."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 2, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 1, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 2, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
03.09.2016 -  Jarno Trulli (ITA) and Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
03.09.2016 - Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Jarno Trulli (ITA)
03.09.2016 - Free Practice 3,  Jarno Trulli (ITA)
03.09.2016 - Free Practice 3,  Jarno Trulli (ITA)
03.09.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jarno Trulli (ITA)
Jarno Trulli - Renault
29.05.2016 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
29.05.2016 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director, Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Racing Director and Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
29.05.2016 - Alain Prost and Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
29.05.2016 - Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
28.05.2016 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
26.05.2016 - Free Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
Jarno Trulli - Prost Grand Prix
20.03.2016 - Matt Preston, Master Chef Australia

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Jake - Unregistered

March 26, 2011 12:57 PM

Totally agree with Alex, Fernandes will drag the Lotus name down JJJ its Mike Gascoyne not Paul or was it a freudian slip as they are both known to like a tipple to much

Nick - Unregistered

March 26, 2011 7:08 PM

Lotus 'happy' despite missing Q2 6 seconds off and they are happy. How can they be happy they cant hide behind any excusses this season. They finished last season better than 6 seconds off. Gascoyne promissed podiums this season their GP2 team will beat their times when they go to Turkey.

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