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Lotus turns focus back to racing

Team Lotus looks to impress again in Turkey on the back of strong weekend in China
Team Lotus will turn its focus back to racing this weekend in Turkey after the news last week that it is to take over Caterham Cars.

Tony Fernandes' team announced it had acquired the British marque in an event at the Imperial War Museum but will now return to the job in hand as the F1 season resumes at Istanbul Park.

After a strong start to the campaign, Lotus heads to Turkey on the back of an impressive performance in China, where Heikki Kovalainen beat both Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado on pace.

With a series of upgrades planned for the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernandes said the team was realistic about its chances in Turkey.

"We are all delighted that there has been such a warm and positive response to last week's announcement about Caterham Cars, but now our focus is back on track and the whole team is looking forward to the start of the European races,” he said. “We have begun this season in the style we wanted to, making steady progress towards the midfield teams and I am hopeful we will continue to do that in Turkey.

“The next step forward should come in Spain where we have a number of significant updates on the cars, but for Turkey we will look to build on the improved reliability and pace we showed in China and work on maximising the mechanical and aero package we have on the T128.

“We have realistic expectations for this weekend. I am not expecting us to have found another chunk of time here as we have been focusing on the Barcelona race for the update package, but I am very confident about the future as the foundations for the long-term success of this team are being laid exactly as planned.”

Kovalainen added that he was confident of the Lotus being strong in Turkey, with the main target being to extract more pace from the car over a single lap.

“We've obviously been pretty busy since getting back from China, and it was great to see so many fans turn out for us at Duxford last week,” said the Finn, who tweeted earlier this week that it is '25 years since rally driver Henri Toivonen's death...I reckon he would have dominated the rally world for many years...super talent'. “I had a really good day and it was cool to be given the chance to be the first person drive the Caterham in our team colours in front of everyone. Now it's on to Turkey which is a circuit I've always enjoyed.

“People talk about turn eigh being the most hardcore bit of the track but for me it's not that big a challenge - our car should be ok around the whole lap and after having had more time to work on the next update, which we'll see in Barcelona, the focus will be on getting the most out of the car in qualifying and showing the pace that we know is there over one lap.”

“Turkey is another chance for us to keep growing as a team,” concurred team-mate Jarno Trulli, “and after the short break we've had, it'll be good to get back into the car. The team has been hard at work on the aero updates we'll introduce at the Spanish Grand Prix and on a couple of mechanical fixes that will give me a better platform to really push on from. I want to make sure we can repeat the performance we showed in China, and that relies on us having an error-free Friday and Saturday – giving us the best chance to fight with the likes of Williams, Force India and Sauber.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.04.2011- Saturday, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
16.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
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