Lotus added Renault engines and Red Bull suspension over the winter and entertained hopes of racing in the midfield in 2011.
But their hopes were dashed in qualifying where they were two seconds behind the midfield pack.
|Heikki Kovalainen||Jarno Trulli|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’29.254 (-0.088)||1’29.342|
Kovalainen was unable to use his DRS in qualifying as the wing stuck in its high downforce position. Despite that he qualified ahead of Trulli, two seconds off Nick Heidfeld’s Renault.
In the race by lap ten he was around four seconds behind Sergio Perez, who was running on hard tyres. But shortly afterwards Kovalainen was sidelined by a water leak, a common problem for the team in pre-season testing.
Trulli was very unhappy with the Pirelli tyres, telling La Repubblica they were “as if they have been changed since the last tests in Barcelona”.
He had difficulty getting the tyres up to temperature and was out-qualified by his team mate.
He started the race on hard tyres and lost around a second per lap to Kovalainen, on softs, in the first stint. Trulli ended the race over 100 seconds behind the next car.
Made his first appearance of 2011 in first practice but only got as far as turn three before losing control of the car and crashing. He admitted it was his fault afterwards.
2011 Australian Grand Prix
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Image ?é?® Pirelli