Lotus sign Trulli and Kovalainen for 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jarno Trulli will be back on the F1 grid in 2010 with Lotus
Jarno Trulli will be back on the F1 grid in 2010 with Lotus

Lotus have confirmed their two drivers for their return to F1 in 2010.

Ex-Toyota driver Jarno Trulli will join the team, being re-united with designer Mike Gasconye for the fourth time in his career.

He will be partnered by Heikki Kovalainen, who was squeezed out of McLaren by the arrival of Jenson Button.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

It means the new Lotus team will have drivers of the same nationalities for its first race as its predecessor did for its last – an Italian and a Finn. Alessandro Zanardi and Mika Salo started Lotus’s last race at Adelaide in 1994.

Trulli is heading into his 14th F1 season, Kovalainen his fourth – and they each have a single Grand Prix win to their names. With a combined 268 starts between them, Lotus have a line-up with more experience than any of the driver pairings announced so far except for Williams’s.

Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy will be the team’s test driver.

Of the four new teams racing in F1 next year so far Campos has announced Bruno Senna and Virgin has confirmed Timo Glock, with Lucas di Grassi expected to be announced as their second driver tomorrow. USF1 are yet to announce their line-up for 2010.

What do you think of Lotus’s F1 driver line-up? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams

74 comments on “Lotus sign Trulli and Kovalainen for 2010”

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  1. two defensive drivers – definitely neither a winning, nor a developing for a win lineup :-(
    Shame for the name who sported greats like Jim Clarke and Senna and many others.

    1. Nowhere near the shame of illiterates who cannot correctly spell the name of the worlds greatest driver. Its CLARK.Shame! shame! shame!

      1. ha ha ha…

  2. If anything, they should hopefully bring some finishes for the team.
    It’s the experience in their first year that they’ll need to set them up. But then Toyota thought that when they started.

  3. I think it is great to see what Heikki can do now. He just couldn’t achieve his full potential at McLaren, I don’t know why and it doesn’t matter now but at least we have the chance to finally see if he’ll fail everywhere or whether he can drive great in a lower pressure team.

    Remember Frentzen bombed at Williams against Villeneuve, and he was flying in the year he got out. Remember he was a suprise title contender that year in the 3rd best car, compare that to when he was average in the fastest car. I hope we see Heikki do well, I remember Alonso had faith in him before his debut as he knew him from Renault, so I hope he was right!

    1. Also may I just say, Heikki started out at McLaren really well. If it weren’t for bad luck at Australia, he would have followed Hamilton home to a 1-2. He did well in Malaysia, did better than Hamilton in Bahrain etc. He suffered lots of bad luck in the first half of the season when he was at his most competitive., and some more in the second half losing out a lot of points.
      He was destroyed by Hamilton in the second half of the season and this year as well so I don’t know what happened to him, maybe he had his confidence destroyed. It is up to Lotus to get it back.

  4. I think it’s a very good line-up for a new team. Neither have been chosen because are bringing substantial sponsorship money, which seems to be a significant factor in many of the other new teams decisisions for at least one driver.

    Trulli is a better race driver now than he was a couple of seasons back, but still with some lightning quali speed.

    Kovi was disappointing by Mclaren standards, but he’s still young and hungry but with much more experience than GP2 drivers, and there is some talent there. I think he might flourish being away from Hamilton and Mclaren.

    But having said that, it’s clear that Trulli and Kovalainen’s careers are not going where they want. Trulli may not have time to stay and build Lotus up over 5+ seasons, even if he could. And Kovi has left a very top team for what will be a near-the-bottom team most likely.

    Still, good for Lotus to get these names – difficult to see another new team with a better overall lineup I think.


    1. I’ll third this, cant wait to see Trulli leading a train of new team’s cars

  6. Two Also rans on the one team, not sure if it is the best choice. Both these drivers usually make early departures from races…

  7. I think it’s a good choice. Trulli is very experienced, great in qualifying and is overall quite a good driver. Kovalainen really didn’t achieve much in McLaren, but he had a great season in Renault. For some reason he wasn’t fast in McLaren, and we’ll see if he can be fast in Lotus. Let’s hope so.

    1. he could have been putting his mclaren on the limit? just lewis was able to take the car much, much further

  8. Great lineup. Trulli’s qualifying pace would be an asset to any team, and he’s more than capable of driving great races when the car is working for him. It’s a great chance for him to use his experience to help establish a new team before he retires (see: David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella).
    Heikki is also a good choice, it will be interesting to see whether he can recapture the form from his debut season now he’s free from the shackles of being Hamilton’s team mate.

  9. The first time I read about this, I thought the same as most I guess – two crapOs. But having thought about it for a while, for a brand spanking new team this is the sensible long-term choice to get some solid points finishes with nothing spectacular, and a good base to put a rookie in the car in 1 or 2 years time.

    This is the opposite approach to Campos, so it will be interesting to see how they get on.

  10. Lotus in 2010: around P18

  11. Great to see a lot of green in their website with a touch of yellow.

  12. Why the hell was Lotus sold to Proton????!!(Fuming!!!)

    1. previous owner Bugatti sold Lotus to Proton due to bankruptcy.

    2. That’s exactly what I was asking myself.Why was Lotus sold to Proton? Seems like a bunch of fools are making Lotus perform clown acts.

  13. Who’s going to sponsor the team? Trulli’s wine company and Finnish vodka?

  14. I might be too critical on Kovalainen, but I don’t see what can he offer at all to any team… his only win came when Massa retired with a blown engine while leading with three laps to go, in a race where Hamilton was also out…

    Trulli at least is a good qualifier and a hard one to overtake…

  15. i think both drivers has good experience in f1 trulli is a good and a bit rough in driving kovalainen is even better he had a victory in hungary.but if lotus f1 can use double diffuser or the KERS SYSTEM they could win a race.so all the best lotus f1

  16. I think its the best pair amongst the new teams joining this season!!

  17. im glad that jarno tulli is back in the racing seat again this year, and in a british team that hasnt raced in formula one for a least 20 years, good luck jarno!!!

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