Team Lotus

German Grand Prix Practice – Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I’m pleased with today’s performance – that was one of the good Fridays. We completed more laps than anyone else out there and the car has felt good all day. I can feel that we have made a decent improvement to the back of the car which helped us find a good balance pretty early on and it was working well on both tyre compounds, so this goes down as a good days work.”

Karun Chandhok, Car 21 – Chassis T128-01: “That was good day of learning. The main area I’ve been looking at is the brakes – we use a different material here to my previous team so I think that’s why I’ve maybe ended up with quite a lot of square tyres today! I had a few moments under braking, and a couple of lock-ups, but that’s what today was about – getting used to the tyres and the brakes and easing myself into a place where I can start to push. Over the day I improved my time from this morning by over 1.5 seconds, so I’m pleased with that, and now I’ll work with the engineers to find more time and keep pushing forwards tomorrow.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “The main challenge here is to work on the driveability of the engines. We need to find a good top speed for the long straight and couple that with strong traction out of the slow and medium speed corners, and after having completed so many laps we have a very decent amount of data to work on to give the drivers the best package we can. We also wanted to make sure Karun could run as much as possible on different fuel loads and get used to the different engine maps,  so the fact he completed so much mileage means this has been a good day all round.” 

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A pretty useful first day where we were able to complete the programmes on both cars and make sure Karun completed a decent number of laps. He was obviously on a steep learning curve so we wanted to give him a chance to work on the tyres, both over a single lap and on long runs and he acquitted himself very well in both sessions. He and Heikki were struggling to warm up the front tyres, especially on the harder compound, but we can work on that and look forward to tomorrow.”

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: “I am delighted with how today has gone, both in terms of the mileage we completed and the fact that both Karun and Heikki have performed so well. Karun has done exactly what we needed him to do – learn as much as possible, avoid any mistakes and ease himself into his race weekend. There is definitely more to come from him in pace and he can be pleased with how well he has grabbed the opportunity he has here in Germany. It is also good to see that the work that has been going on at the factory to resolve the reliability issues that befell us at the last race appear to have eradicated those problems, so now we have to make sure we have another strong Saturday and look forward to seeing both cars cross the line on Sunday.”