Lotus claimed their upgrade package would be worth a second per lap but had to readjust their expectations on Friday.
Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “I always thought it would take some time for us to maximise the potential of the updates we have applied here, especially for the drivers who have basically a new rear end of the car to get to grips with.”
|Heikki Kovalainen||Jarno Trulli|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’25.874 (-0.647)||1’26.521|
Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
Was encouraged by the progress made on Friday, saying: “I think we?óÔé¼Ôäóve seen an improvement today on where we were and throughout the sessions we could see that we were getting more and more out of the new package.
“The gap to the cars ahead seems reasonably small so I think it?óÔé¼Ôäós all positive.”
He made it into Q2 thanks to the problems suffered by Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello. Qualified 15th as neither of the Force Indias used soft tyres.
The team kept him out until lap 16 before making his first pit stop, by which time he was losing around three seconds per lap. Kovalainen said afterwards it had been a “poor call”, leaving him “left out for too long losing a lot of time”.
On lap 48 he braked too late for turn four, got on to the tyre marbles and hit the barrier.
Trulli continued to have problems with the power steering on the T128 during practice. In qualifying a gearbox problem meant he only had one chance to set a time.
He picked up three places at the start and ran as high as eighth before his first pit stop. After that he slipped back and finished where he started.
He said: “Unfortunately towards the middle of the race I felt I had a problem with the exhaust which affected the rear end of the car and meant that my performance was not as good as earlier.
“But all in all, it was a very good race for me. I fought like a lion and I?óÔé¼Ôäóm happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today.
“There?óÔé¼Ôäós still a bit of work to do to catch up with the guys in front, but it?óÔé¼Ôäós fantastic that we?óÔé¼Ôäóve lapped the guys behind us once again. The overall aero package is good – we just need to focus on developing that for the future and increase the gap even more from the guys behind, and keep on closing the distance to the cars ahead.”
2011 Spanish Grand Prix
- 2011 Spanish Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for the best driver of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel soaks up pressure for fourth win
- McLaren: Hamilton strong on “disastrous” Pirellis
- Ferrari: Alonso stars, Massa struggles
- Mercedes: Rosberg wanted Schumacher to let him pass
- Renault: Heidfeld eighth after “worst fire of my career”
- Williams: Maldonado reaches Q3 but still no points
- Sauber: Kobayashi gets point after puncture
- Force India hold back on aerodynamic upgrade