Lotus disappointed to miss out on Q2

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Sepang, 2011

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Sepang, 2011

Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said the team was disappointed not to reach Q2 for the first time in Sepang.

Heikki Kovalainen was half a second slower than Rubens Barrichello in Q1 – Barrichello was the last driver to reach Q2.

Gascoyne said: “A very, very good day for the team, however we are left feeling a little disappointed because we felt we had a real chance of getting into Q2.

“We had no problems on the cars at all today which meant we were able to show the true level of performance that we had seen in winter testing, and ultimately we were very close to Q2 on merit. The drivers did a great job and the whole team has worked very hard to turn everything around from yesterday, and from Melbourne.

“In Heikki?s last run he made a couple of small mistakes and we could have been even closer, but, looking at the positives, we are all looking forward to the race tomorrow. Tyre degradation will be very important here – it will be an interesting Sunday for the whole grid and at last we have a car with which we can go and take the fight to the midfield.”

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27 comments on Lotus disappointed to miss out on Q2

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th April 2011, 13:19

    They were never going to make Q2. Not without a mistake from someone else. In terms of pace, they just don’t have it yet.

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 9th April 2011, 13:27

      I agree with you on that, but it has definitely been a good day for them. The track is a good benchmark for car performance and they have clearly made a bit step in the right direction compared to last year (of course one could argue that Renault internals plus FI externals are the main source for that, but we can’t prove the second one yet).

      • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 9th April 2011, 13:34

        I really wish that they could make the jump to the uppermost middle of the pack because they are Lotus.

        Fernandes really has to get the talent under his belt to make it happen. He’s got the lolly, go recruit former Northrop Skunk Works engineers if he has to. Just do it.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th April 2011, 13:40

          Call me a cynic, but Sepang is their home race. They tend to go all-in for it. I remember last year, Kovalainen retired with some kind of mechanical fault, but they got him back out about nine laps down and ran him to the finish. he wasn’t classified, and they clearly only did it because it was the Malaysian Grand Prix. I don’t think any team takes their home race this seriously, with the exception of Ferrari. The difference is that Ferrari are generally pretty good at backing up what they say they will do with an actual result. Fernanes-Lotus just comes across as deluded.

          • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 9th April 2011, 13:57

            Well a cynic is in my learning is someone who contemplates the past, applies it to the present and hence delivers a verdict that is applied with reason rather than emotion. This is not the best forum to talk about cynicism, but it’s something I’d dearly love to discuss somewhere else.

            As far as your comments above, again your correct. Good contrast between Lotus and Ferrari.

          • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 9th April 2011, 13:59

            you’re* oops

          • Mike said on 9th April 2011, 15:53

            I don’t get your problem,

            A) They take their home race seriously.
            B) They didn’t match the reliability of Ferrari.

            I don’t see how you can spin this as a criticism, it’s the reality of being a new team.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th April 2011, 14:37

        But the last tenths to be really in the mix are often the hardest to find. Clearly their car is now a serious F1 car, just like Gascoyne said at the presentation.

        They did a good job with sourcing a great package in the Red Bull/Renault back end and the rest of the car works fine for it.

        HRT seem to have done something alike, although for having a tiny budget admittedly at a far lower level. Good job with the limited ressources used.

        Virgin are trying to get their by building everything themselves, so it will take time to learn everything (Yes inclusive best use of CFD, but including the gearbox and drivetrain solution as well).

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 9th April 2011, 13:27

      Yeah I agree… But, why would that shut you up?

    • Himmat S. said on 9th April 2011, 13:30

      Yeap. 5 tenths off the midfield at best.

      • Solo (@solo) said on 9th April 2011, 14:12

        5 tenths off the midfield is just fine. They are exactly where they expected to be. With 5 tenths away they have a good chance to get them on development and score some good points in the second half of the season like they said their target was.
        They are still in the lines of their program. Now this is the hard part at overdeveloping the midfield teams. They will need to gain at least half a second to seven tenths more than them and considering the others will be getting faster too it means they will have to find more than just a second. Probably two seconds at half season. Hard but their car is not as refined and developed so they may have quite a lot of potential to exploit.

        • Mike said on 9th April 2011, 16:06

          Don’t expect points.

          I think fans of Team Lotus should expect them to maintain the pace they have now, keep up with other teams development.
          If they can do that, they can consider it a great success.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 9th April 2011, 14:11

      Just so everyone knows, PM has gold and black underpants.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th April 2011, 18:20

      I’m inclined to agree with PM. As much as I would like to think they have more to come clearly at the moment they don’t…Gascoyne just said as much himself.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 9th April 2011, 21:10

      Agreed. One has to remember it’s Malaysia and Malaysia means high ambient and track temperature, thus easier tire warm up, which they struggle with. Unless all the rest of the season is held in such hot conditions – don’t expect them going any higher. Also don’t expect them to catch midfield through development – they are still far far away from them in this area (less resources, experience, know-how).

    • dau said on 9th April 2011, 21:37

      Yea, they were never going to make Q2. Not without someone going slower than them, eh?

  2. Himmat S. said on 9th April 2011, 13:26

    Great for Lotus. Heikki was a good two seconds ahead of Glock in the leading Virgin. I won’t like to predict too much, but I reckon they’d have good chance to move into Q2 in tracks like Monaco and Montreal – where they we less than a second off the midfield last year.

    I think somehow Lotus have proved they have it in them to nick a couple of points this season!

    • S.J.M (@sjm) said on 9th April 2011, 21:59

      I think your right, esspecially with Monaco when everyone will be crammed into it during Q1.

      But fair play to Team Lotus, not quite there yet with regards to mixing it with the midfield but its within sight. Now its down to development and hoping the upgrades work better then those infront ;)

  3. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 9th April 2011, 14:02

    A fantastic leap forward by Team Lotus…they are starting to come good at last.

  4. marc512 (@marc512) said on 9th April 2011, 17:42

    I believe lotus when they say they can do it…they look like a team thats throwing all there money into the car.
    They where closer to getting into Q2! i bet middle of the seasons they will get in.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th April 2011, 18:26

      I’m with you on this. To come out fighting with the likes of Williams and STR from the start of the season was always optimistic but I think they will be there by the middle-to-end of the season.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th April 2011, 18:24

    I was disappointed for Lotus. They are close to Q2 but as said above, those last few tenths are the hardest to come by. I have every confidence they will improve on qualifying if we have a wet race.

    • S.J.M (@sjm) said on 9th April 2011, 23:04

      Gasgoyne reckoned they’l have a Red Bull esq diffuser by Barcelona, so if it works thats some there. But as with developing the car, everyone else is doing the same and its trying to keep up or make gains.

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 10th April 2011, 3:01

    It will be tough for them to make it into Q2 until other people falls off for some problem.But they have improved a lot since 2010.

  7. Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 10th April 2011, 7:45

    I think that to be just 5 tenths of the Williams at only their 21st race ever is a pretty damn good achievement, and I think they can get within a few tenths or even ahead of them or the Torro Rosso’s by Korea or thereabouts, which would be impressive.

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