Lotus Racing has high hopes that Hockenheim - scene of this weekend's German Grand Prix, the eleventh round of 19 on the F1 2010 World Championship schedule - will prove to be a happier hunting-ground for its T127 than Silverstone a week-and-a-half ago.

Whilst Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen brought their cars safely home in the British Grand Prix - and as best of the newcomers to-boot - Virgin rival Timo Glock was never far behind, and in fact briefly split the two green-and-yellow machines during the pit-stop phase.

Some of that could be attributed to the high-speed Northants circuit not greatly suiting the Cosworth-powered challenger, some down to a shortage of running time during practice due to reliability woes - but either way, sporting director Dieter Gass has cause for greater optimism heading to Germany this weekend.

"We're all looking forward to Hockenheim," he affirmed. "Obviously the circuit is quite different now from how it used to be in the past; then, it was an extremely difficult circuit on which to find a decent set-up - long straights that took you into the forest and then slow corners in the Motodrom stadium section meant it was hard to find a suitable compromise between downforce and grip.

"You don't have to make such a big compromise anymore because the straights simply aren't as long now, but you still don't run maximum downforce here - you take a bit of wing off to take account of the straight, and give the driver the chance to overtake at the end of that, in Turn Six.

"I think our car will suit the circuit well. You have a different speed profile than Silverstone, which didn't really suit our car, but at Hockenheim I think we'll be better off. We had a big update package at Silverstone which we couldn't exploit fully as we were lacking running and set-up time, so we'll be looking to get the best out of that in the Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

"We'll be able to play with the ballast a bit more here as well, which will help us find a better balance, and the team have spent some time in the factory this week practising pit-stops, so we should see the times come down in Germany. All-in-all, it should be a good weekend."

Both Trulli and Kovalainen similarly speak effusively of the task that lies ahead, the Italian having registered his first points at Hockenheim in only his ninth-ever F1 start with Prost Grand Prix back in 1997 and going on to finish third there with Renault six years later, and the Finn pointing to the 'hardcore' support the drivers receive from the spectators in the grandstands.

"Hockenheim has some real history," acknowledged Trulli, "and in its old guise it demanded a lot from the drivers, in terms of set-up, driving and in getting all the little details right. However, now it's a more conventional circuit, and while I like it, I preferred the old layout.

"I was on the podium there a while back, and I won the German F3 Championship there many years ago, so it does hold a lot of good memories for me. It's always hot when we go there and the fans are very passionate, so I hope we can put on a good show for them, and show what Lotus Racing is all about."

"Germany's always a good race - Hockenheim is usually hot and the fans make sure there's a great atmosphere around the whole circuit," concurred Kovalainen. "The stadium section in particular is amazing - with all the horns blowing, the flags flying and the odd flare being set off, it feels like you are in a football stadium or something. That makes it a great place to watch from if you're a spectator, and for the drivers it's cool - we can see all the fans packed into the stands and it looks pretty hardcore!

"The circuit itself is pretty good. You can overtake at the end of the long straight into the hairpin, but there aren't many other places where you can get past. It's relatively hard on tyres and in the past the heat has made them blister, but we shouldn't get any of those problems with this year's tyres. Bridgestone are bringing a super-soft and a hard, so there should be a clear performance difference between the two - we'll see how that shapes up over the weekend."

Whilst the latest incarnation of the iconic Lotus name is still very much in its infancy, Lotus Racing CEO Riad Asmat assures that just as the Anglo/Malaysian outfit is looking forwards in terms of its immediate rivals on-track, so too is the team looking forwards with regards to the future - and to doing justice to its illustrious and much-crowned predecessor.

"Firstly, it was great to see Fairuz [Fauzy - reserve driver] in the car at Silverstone on Friday," he underlined. "Testing is obviously extremely limited, so it was good for him to get some experience and practice in the car. He certainly deserved his time in the cockpit, but mechanical problems unfortunately meant he didn't get as much track time car as he could have. We are running him in FP1 at Hockenheim instead of in Hungary, so he's getting another chance to show what he can do a week early and it'll be good to see him back on-track again in Germany.

"I was in the car with Tony [Fernandes - team principal] on the way to Silverstone on Saturday, when he reminded me that it was at the British Grand Prix in 2009 that he first met Mike [Gascoyne - chief technical officer] and the Lotus Racing dream began. He was quite nostalgic and was telling me that a year ago he couldn't drive in certain places around the track without the sticker on his car, whereas now he is a team principal he can go everywhere!

"He has built so much out of the dreams he has pursued, with success of course, and he believes that Lotus Racing is another opportunity that will be a success. Last weekend was a year to the day that this adventure began, and now we're already looking five years down the road and how far we can go."



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