Lotus became the first ‘second year’ team to beat an established team in a straight fight.
|Heikki Kovalainen||Jarno Trulli|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’37.894 (-0.424)||1’38.318|
Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race:
In the cool conditions of qualifying Kovalainen was over a second and a half slower than the Williamses.
But in warmer temperatures on race day Lotus proved able to compete with other established teams on merit for the first time ever.
Kovalainen’s two-stop strategy got him ahead of Pastor Maldonado and he finished the race in front of the Williams and the delayed Sauber of Sergio Perez.
Kovalainen described it as “our best ever performance.
“It’s not the highest place we’ve had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am very happy, with my performance and the performance of the whole team.
“We knew we would struggle in the cool conditions yesterday but today the temperatures rose and we expected to be able to put in the sort of race that would do justice to the pace that is in the car.”
Continues to have problems with tyre degradation. Qualified behind Kovalainen and finished in 19th.
Drove in Trulli’s place in first practice. Damaged his front wing following what the team described as a “suspension problem”.
2011 Chinese Grand Prix
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Image ?é?® Team Lotus