Lotus: Late-race problem slows Kovalainen

2011 Turkish GP team review

Lotus believe Heikki Kovalainen could have beaten Pastor Maldonado again had he not been slowed by technical problems in Turkey.

Heikki Kovalainen Jarno Trulli
Qualifying position 18 19
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’28.780 (-0.893) 1’29.673
Race position 19 18
Laps 56/58 57/58
Pit stops 3 3

Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Heikki Kovalainen 103.531 97.37 96.52 96.825 97.346 96.237 95.993 96.413 96.477 97.023 98.668 97.788 99.189 97.846 97.935 113.475 95.53 95.038 95.261 95.175 96.089 94.871 95.093 95.182 95.006 95.273 95.431 95.166 96.13 95.648 96.643 110.809 93.799 93.887 93.849 93.677 93.395 95.568 93.818 94.09 94.404 94.485 93.791 93.654 94.001 94.089 94.775 94.831 95.565 97.533 99.126 99.408 100.091 116.399 92.695 93.462
Jarno Trulli 104.673 97.045 97.043 97.006 96.454 96.389 96.078 96.393 96.443 97.501 97.874 99.34 98.647 112.658 94.974 94.814 94.901 94.68 94.979 94.912 94.802 94.789 95.168 96.265 96.212 112.432 94.328 94.198 94.124 94.144 95.922 94.392 94.465 94.312 95.701 94.355 94.586 94.455 95.436 111.567 94.254 93.696 93.185 93.019 93.28 93.787 93.483 93.355 92.862 93.19 94.28 95.15 95.973 94.72 94.172 94.293 96.713
Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Istanbul, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Istanbul, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen was pleased with his “right on the money” qualifying lap. He was half-a-second away from making it into Q2.

He got up to 15th at the start but was passed by Sebastien Buemi, Kamui Kobayashi and Jaime Alguersuari in the opening laps.

He tried to run a two-stop strategy but his lap times dropped off badly towards the end of the race and he had to make an extra stop. A hydraulic problem meant his DRS and differential weren’t working properly.

Chief technical officer Mika Gascoyne said that without his problems, Kovalainen would have been able to beat Pastor Maldonado again:

“We were concerned that he would not be able to get to the end, and that if his tyres went off he would be unable to stop again but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle.

“Without that, I think we would have been able to beat Maldonado on the track.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Trulli also had DRS problems. His surfaced in qualifying, explaining his deficit to Kovalainen of almost nine tenths of a second.

He ran a conventional three-stop strategy and inherited 18th place from his struggling team mate, finishing almost half a minute behind Maldonado.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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14 comments on Lotus: Late-race problem slows Kovalainen

  1. F1iLike said on 9th May 2011, 11:41

    Turn off the differential? That’s odd

    Heikki is doing really well! As do Lotus of course!

  2. timi (@timi) said on 9th May 2011, 11:46

    but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle.

    wow, talk about extreme measures!!!
    anyway, kov clearly still has quite a bit of talent and did very well for an over 20-lap stint. very glad the lotus boys are catching up to the ailing williams.
    i think a lot of the credit should go to kovalainen and trulli, two such experienced drivers must give great input and analysis on how the car is and where it needs to improve. kudos

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th May 2011, 12:32

    Impressive car nursing then by Heikki. Just goes to show how hard it it, just to make these systems work properly.

    I must say, HRT are doing a fine job with avoiding technical glitches so far.

  4. Douglas62500 said on 9th May 2011, 13:18

    That’s not bad at all considering all those problems they had. Let’s just hope that their upcoming updates for Barcelona would not cause them too much trouble, especially on the exhausts, as Virgin and Williams did.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 9th May 2011, 13:40

    If they bring 0.5 secs as Mike said, they could hunt some of mid field teams.

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th May 2011, 16:23

    They are gaining more confident every race they race.Keep up the good work,among the new team they are the best looking in the pack.

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th May 2011, 16:39

    Trulli seems to have problems every practice/qualifying/race. Glad to see him ahead of Heikki.

  8. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th May 2011, 20:47

    Q2 is still gonna be a tall order for them even with a good update. With Kobayashi out of qualifying early on, this was their best shot. If no one has a mechanical problem, then they’ll have to beat at least two established drivers to make Q2, not just one driver as they would’ve had to here.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th May 2011, 22:38

    They’re getting there. I think it’s a little early to expect them to be beating Maldonado consistently.

  10. Mack41 (@mack41) said on 10th May 2011, 5:03

    Well it seems they’re almost there. They should have added KERS though; its only worth .3 per lap but they’re close to Maldonado. IF they have equivalent/better performance in relation to the rest of the field next year KERS is a must and they will be mixing it up.

  11. The New Pope said on 11th May 2011, 4:45

    I love Caterham F1!

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