Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne has predicted a strong weekend for the team in its second home race of the F1 season at Silverstone.
The Hingham-based outfit has strengthened its position as the best of the newcomers thus far in 2011, although Heikki Kovalainen
and Jarno Trulli
have been unable to break into the points to score for the first time.
Although the team endured a more trying weekend in Valencia, with Kovalainen and Trulli down in 19th and 20th, Gascoyne said he was hopeful that Silverstone would be a circuit where the team would return to the kind of form that has seen it challenge some of the midfield teams already in 2011.
“I think all the signs are that Silverstone will be a good race for us,” he said. “It's one of our two home Grand Prix so it is a chance to race in front of our families and friends and after we slipped a little in Valencia it gives us the opportunity to get back to the level of performance that we know we can extract from this year's car.
“I do not think the rule changes we will see at Silverstone will have a great effect on the grid order but we have been making preparations for this weekend both in the wind tunnel and in some of the work we have been doing at the straightline test this week.”
Trulli meanwhile added that tyres could play a key role in the outcome of the race weekend.
“There are a few obvious changes this time around,” he said. “We have the Pirelli tyres which have made our strategic decisions critical all season, and with the probable performance differential between the soft and the hard tyres I think qualifying could be pretty tight. Managing the degradation of both compounds will be important all weekend, and if there is a big gap in laptimes between them that could play into our hands – we'll see.
“The effect of DRS will also create more overtaking on Sunday than we've had for a long time, so hopefully we can take advantage of that and keep taking the battle to the cars ahead.”