British Grand Prix Qualifying – Team Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I’m very pleased with that. Before qualifying we knew it would be important to get as much as we could out of the dry tyres because the showers were expected – small showers, but we just didn’t know when they were going to happen so we had to give it everything on the slicks. At the start of Q1 I managed to get a pretty decent lap in and got everything out of the car almost immediately. Then when I went out for the second run the rain started but having got it right when it was dry we were already where we needed to be so the whole team can be pleased about where we ended up.
“Hopefully I can put in a good race from 17th. I know the whole team is working very well together and even though the outright performance isn’t quite there yet, we are still getting everything out of the car and attacking the teams ahead – that’s what we’re here to do in our second season, so days like today are very encouraging for me and everyone in Team Lotus.”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-01: “The rain played its part in Q1 and the session unfortunately was cut short after I’d only had one run. It wasn’t quite good enough, which is a shame, but we have one car in Q2 which shows we have the pace to take the fight to the cars ahead, so hopefully I can have a strong race tomorrow, as long as I can avoid any bad luck with the conditions!”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “This morning in P3 we took a step forward compared to yesterday because we had much improved weather conditions and that definitely helped us in qualifying. We were able to finalise our engine mapping comparisons and focus on the effect of the new regulations which allowed us to make the right decisions for qualifying. That was obviously the right strategy because when you look at Heikki’s lap time in Q1 it was very good and that enabled him to get into Q2. Jarno was not so lucky because of the weather – it’s always difficult when the conditions change that quickly, but for the whole team this has been a good day.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I am delighted with our performance today, and especially pleased for Heikki. In conditions like that it is a good result for the whole team to get the strategy calls right and Heikki did exactly what he needed to do to get into Q2, and he gave it his best shot in that session as well so full credit to him. On Jarno’s side he has been struggling all day with the balance so I am obviously disappointed for him, but tomorrow in the race I am sure it will be different and he will be able to attack the group in front. Overall this has been a good couple of days for us. The team has reacted well to all the changes we have had had to make with the amendments to the regulations and now we need to round off this weekend with a strong two-car finish and take the fight to the teams immediately in front of us.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I am very happy with today’s performance. To run like this at Silverstone, where the Team Lotus dream began when I met Mike here, and put a car into Q2 in only our second year is a big achievement. Heikki gave it 100% and Q2 is a deserved reward for his efforts today. I am a bit disappointed for Jarno – we’ll have to find out what happened to him because there was quite a big gap between him and Heikki, but now I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. Our race pace has been good all season, so the aim is to maintain our much improved reliability record and see what happens in the race itself.”