Monaco Grand Prix Preview – Team Lotus

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “Monaco is a unique race and one that is challenging, slightly chaotic and a bit mad, for the drivers and all the teams. Everywhere you move there are people who want to come up and say hi, and that’s great but after almost a week it adds to the pressure, but we all just get on with it as it’s the same for everyone. I’m very proud to have won here and count myself so lucky that I can say I’m a Monaco winner. I remember when I won it was so busy – I went to the dinner with the Prince that night and that was special, but the minutes and hours straight after the race were almost more intense than the race itself! However, I don’t really like looking back. It’ll be great for my kids in the future to know their Dad can say he won Monaco, but for me I want to keep looking ahead.

“I think this year the race will be fascinating. We’ve already seen how much the tyres are influencing the qualifying and race strategies, and here that could be even more true. We’re on the super softs and the softs here so I don’t think there will quite the same difference in lap times as there was in Spain. Obviously in Monaco aero performance is less important but I think strategy will play a critical role and we have some very good guys looking after that so I think we’ll be ok.”
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “Straight after Barcelona we go to Monaco where we take on one of the most fascinating challenges of the season. You obviously need a good car but you don’t necessarily need the peak performance that you have to have at some of the other circuits, as the demands on aero are lessened by the nature of the track. As it’s a temporary street circuit it’s very dirty at the start of the race weekend and experience plays a massive part in how well you perform whenever you’re in the car. I’ve always felt very comfortable in Monaco and as the performance difference between the cars is always less around here I hope we can use our experience to take the fight to the guys ahead. There has been some talk about the use of DRS there and even though it’s only at certain parts of the track I’ll definitely be using it whenever I’m on full throttle, and I think that’s true for the whole grid. As we don’t have KERS it’s important we use whatever we can to keep fighting so there’s no question of not using it. I’m very comfortable with DRS and I don’t think it’ll be a distraction at all. We’ll just get on with it.”  

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “Unfortunately I won’t be in Monaco this year but I will be watching every second from Malaysia and will be supporting the whole team as much as I can from several thousand miles away! Monaco is obviously a special place for Team Lotus. The Principality has been the scene of many of the moments that makes Team Lotus such an iconic name in the sporting world and it’s very pleasing that in our team’s 2011 guise we go back there after another positive weekend in the previous race. I was so pleased with the whole team’s performance in Spain and even though we didn’t record the race finish that perhaps we would have wanted to, we showed that our measured progress is bringing rewards, this time in the shape of Q2 on strategy and pace. I think that Monaco could be another race where we can use the tyres quite aggressively in qualifying and the race, use strategy to give the teams ahead another reason to look over their shoulders and keep on learning, and that is the key to our long-term success. Use all the assets at our disposal as intelligently as we can, set realistic targets and then go out and achieve them. Monaco is another chance for us to do just that and I hope it is another great weekend for the whole team.”