Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne says he is hoping that the team can make it through to the second stage of qualifying for the third time this season in Hungary this weekend.
So far in 2011, Heikki Kovalainen
has made it through to Q2 in Spain and at Silverstone, while the Finn also started 17th in Monaco after Sergio Perez was ruled out of the race by his accident in qualifying.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in Hungary, Gascoyne said he was hoping that the current aerodynamic regulations in place in F1 would ensure a tight qualifying session in Hungary and give Lotus the chance to challenge the midfield runners.
“Hungary has always been one of the circuits where all the teams run maximum downforce,” he said. “While it is obviously not a street circuit it requires a similar setup to Monaco and Singapore as the track's characteristics do not place a large emphasis on aero efficiency, instead rewarding enhanced downforce throughout the restrictions of the tight and twisty track.
“In the past teams have tried very innovative additions to the cars in an attempt to generate as much downforce as possible, sacrificing aero performance in favour of points of downforce, but now the rules are so tight there is no room to add the odd bits and pieces that used to be seen sprouting from the cars in Hungary and Monaco.
“With that in mind we may see the differences between the front of the grid and the back decrease slightly, and that could play into our hands. We showed at Silverstone that we can put our cars into Q2 using the right strategy and that may be the same in Hungary.
“We are definitely influencing the plans of the teams ahead as they cannot risk being behind us in Q1 using only the prime tyres, so hopefully we can do that again in Hungary and keep fighting the midfield pack on Saturday, and pushing on in the race on Sunday when our race pace comes into its own.”