MOVING AWAY FROM THE COMPETITION
Lotus Racing's European Grand Prix Qualifying session ended with Jarno Trulli
in 19th and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen in 20th, comfortably ahead of their fellow new teams, and, again, a respectable distance from the midfield. With Colin Chapman's
son Clive in the garage, in Spain to help the team celebrate the 500th Grand Prix Lotus has competed in, the team will be satisfied with a good performance in the Mediterranean heat, and will be looking to carry the good reliability they have enjoyed on track in Valencia through to tomorrow's race, aiming to bring both cars home in what should be an exciting race.Jarno Trulli
(Chassis T127-04) FP3: 20 laps, best time 1.41.428, 20th / Qualifying: 19th, 1.40.658, 11 laps "I'm feeling quite a lot happier now - things have been getting better all weekend now I have the new chassis, and as I've not had any real problems I've been able to work on the setup, which obviously helped today. I do still have a bit of an issue with the brakes, but it feels like a new start from where I've been and I'm pleased with the performance today. We are another step ahead of the teams behind and I think we'll be ok tomorrow."
Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) FP3: 19 laps, best time 1.41.303, 19th / Qualifying: 20th, 1.40.882, 11 laps "It was a little disappointing for me out there today. I didn't feel as comfortable as I did yesterday, when I was very happy with the car. Today it seems I had to fight the car a bit, and I really had to attack to get some good times. But it's ok. I'm not too worried, and tomorrow I will push again and try to bring the car home to the end of the race."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "I'm very pleased with Qualifying today - it was a very solid effort from the whole team. We were actually 2.5 seconds off the quickest time in Q1, and percentage wise that's our best performance of the year so far. We've moved further away from the competition behind us, so overall it was a very solid performance, with the whole team continuing to move forward. Now we'll have to match that with a two car finish in the race tomorrow."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "There's a lot of good points that have come out of today - the main one is that we've finished quite comfortably ahead of Virgin and HRT, and it was great to hear Jarno happy over the radio - his new chassis looks like it may have brought about a change in luck, so let's hope that continues tomorrow. Our engineers tell me we've taken another step forward today, and hopefully we'll get even more out of the new Cosworth engine in the race - it's very encouraging to see the performance of both of the Cosworth powered Williams cars today, so hopefully we can keep pushing like them and get both cars home tomorrow."
We've put up a couple of great new films on line - for a look back at last weekend's Classic Team Lotus Festival and to mark the 500th Grand Prix Lotus has competed in go to: Classic Team Lotus Festival, and take a look at Jarno's Valencia preview on our YouTube channel - go to Jarno's Valencia preview on YouTube