Differing fortunes for the Lotus drivers. Kovalainen was satisifed with the car’s handling but failed to finish, while Trulli was less happy with his car and, although being counted among the classified finishers, ended the race perched on top of another car.
|Jarno Trulli||Heikki Kovalainen|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’17.134 (+0.04)||1’17.094|
|Average race lap||1’27.059 (-0.553)||1’27.612|
A slow pit stop left Trulli behind the HRT cars. With eight laps to go frustration got the better of him and he tried a risky move on Karun Chandhok at Rascasse. The two banged wheels and Trulli landed on top of Chadhok’s car.
According to Mike Gascoyne, Trulli didn’t enjoy the same good balance Kovalainen found:
For Jarno, he had a much more difficult weekend, clearly struggling with the balance of the car and I think as a team we have to take a look at everything to be able to do a better job for him. Obviously he was compromised by the slow pitstop, which dropped him down the field and affected his whole race.
Edged Trulli in qualifying by four-hundredths of a second. After the second restart he was behind Vitaly Petrov and felt the Renault driver wasn’t that much faster than him:
It was a fantastic race right from the beginning. I had a bit of a struggle at the restarts to get the tyres up to temperature, but once I got everything working I was able to almost keep up with the Renault.
I was pushing very hard, and the car felt fantastic – the balance was really good. Just before I retired I could feel the steering alignment was a bit uneven – on the right hand corners I had to use maximum lock, even in the tunnel, and it got the point where it didn’t feel safe any more.
In Monaco you can’t take a risk with it so I came in. It was a mechanical issue, but despite that I’m really pleased with today.
The lap time data suggests Petrov was about a second a lap quicker but this was still a decent performance from Kovalainen.