Brazilian Grand Prix Preview – Team Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “This has been a long, hard season and it will be good to bring it to an end in Brazil, but for me this has been one of the best seasons I have had in motor racing. As the team keeps growing and keeps developing I’ve just had to make sure I am driving as hard as I can, and every time I get out of the car I’ve been satisfied that I couldn’t get any more out of it, so I can’t really do any more than that. There is a great spirit in this team – we are definitely going in the right direction, so we will all look back on this year as another step forward, and then make sure we keep that momentum up as soon as we hit the track in 2012.
“For Brazil there’s no reason why we can’t have another very strong weekend. We have a new rear wing that should give us a bit more quali and race pace, and we have the same medium and soft tyre compounds we used in Abu Dhabi, so we should be able to put in the same kind of performances we showed there and in several races before.”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “Brazil is a track I always look forward to but one I’ve never been too lucky at. It’s one of the old style tracks, not the stop / start long straight / tight turn we see at a lot of the modern circuits – it’s the sort of place you can build up a good rhythm as it’s a mix of high speed turns merging into slower corners and from inside the cockpit that feels good. I want to try and finish the season as well as I can – the car has felt good in the races and with the update we have to the rear wing I think we can finish the season with a step forward in qualifying, so let’s see what happens.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “We head to Brazil in good spirits after a long year but we have enjoyed a strong latter part of the season. We have been pushing ahead since Singapore, and there will not be one person in the team taking their foot off the gas until we see both cars cross the line on Sunday ahead of the teams behind us.
“Our progress on track has been clear to see and another sign of our ongoing development this year is the fact we are bringing a new rear wing to Brazil. Our race pace has been good all season, but we have not been able to match that in qualifying, and the update to the rear wing is designed to help us do that by improving the efficiency of our DRS system. In simple terms, because DRS can be used anywhere on track in qualifying our performances in Q1 have not matched our race performances where DRS usage is limited, and bringing a new wing that gives us more downforce and improves the efficiency of the system should see us being able to close the gap in qualifying to the cars ahead compared to the previous races. Last year we had stopped development on the T127 halfway through the season and this year we have new parts right up to the final race and that is how we will be operating next year and for many seasons to come.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “The Brazilian Grand Prix is a very important race for us for a number of reasons. On track we still have a fight ahead of us to secure our primary goal of the season, and we will also be saying goodbye to Team Lotus.
“Our stewardship of Team Lotus will come to an end in mid-December. In our short time as custodians of the brand we have had highs and lows but the fundamental point is that we brought Lotus back into Formula One and we did it in the right style. We have built up our Formula One team and all our associated businesses from a starting point of an empty factory in Norfolk in just two years, and now we have secured our future and are in control of our own destiny, and therefore we have achieved our first goal. After this race we will say goodbye to Team Lotus with very fond memories and then we will look forward to next year when the Caterham F1 Team will signal the start of the next chapter of our very exciting story.”