Lotus: Gap to midfield widens in Valencia

2011 European GP team review

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

Lotus seemed to slip back to their 2010 level of performance in Valencia.

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “It is obviously a big challenge for us to find the 0.5 seconds that will propel us towards the midfield teams, but we have the right elements in place to help us do that.”

But the data from the race weekend shows the gap is greater than that. Kovalainen was 1.4 seconds slower than Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso in qualifying, and finished 48 seconds behind Pastor Maldonado’s Williams after 57 laps.

Heikki Kovalainen Jarno Trulli
Qualifying position 19 20
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’41.664 (-0.57) 1’42.234
Race position 19 20
Laps 55/57 55/57
Pit stops 3 2

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
Heikki Kovalainen 123.13 110.949 109.41 109.118 109.056 108.444 108.437 108.245 107.947 108.18 108.295 108.669 109.658 126.59 115.542 107.454 107.744 108.189 107.163 106.949 106.973 106.833 107.096 107.101 107.117 125.009 112.102 108.254 108.144 106.019 105.929 105.847 105.829 106.033 107.039 106.76 107.688 106.855 106.709 107.157 107.673 124.335 112.248 105.055 106.752 105.699 105.681 106.86 105.976 105.382 105.257 106.717 105.797 105.174 109.606
Jarno Trulli 123.82 110.893 110.276 108.997 108.266 108.536 108.323 108.354 108.062 108.005 108.372 109.059 109.328 108.97 109.096 109.806 109.795 126.791 114.399 107.856 107.229 106.607 106.871 106.98 110.239 107.04 106.419 106.208 106.379 111.401 106.894 106.697 107.856 126.035 113.905 107.425 107.116 106.92 106.985 107.87 106.99 106.929 107.23 106.949 108.328 109.125 108.497 111.085 115.954 108.435 111.12 109.049 107.482 108.778 109.785

Heikki Kovalainen

After two patchy races Kovalainen was back to his early-season form. He out-qualified Trulli for the seventh time out of eight and finished almost half a minute ahead of his team mate.

Lotus split strategies between the two cars as Mike Gascoyne explained: “We had considered two stops on both cars but when we saw higher degradation levels on Heikki?s car we put him onto three and kept Jarno on two to give both of them a chance to fight.

“Jarno nearly passed Heikki in the final stops but Heikki?s fresh rubber gave him the chance to edge ahead and the key goal today was to make sure they both finished, so I am pleased we achieved that.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Trulli declared himself happy with the progress the team made with his persistent power steering problem after practice, saying he was “pretty pleased with what we found on the second option.”

Was frustrated by traffic in qualifying and spun at the last corner at the end of Q3.

Had a near-miss with Fernando Alonso during the race, almost squeezing his former team mate into the barrier while being lapped.

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

Karun Chandhok

Drove Jarno Trulli’s car in first practice but failed to set a time after suffering a gearbox problem on his second lap.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 European Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 European Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Team Lotus

Advert | Go Ad-free

8 comments on Lotus: Gap to midfield widens in Valencia

  1. M.M.C (@mmc) said on 27th June 2011, 11:40

    Seems that the lack of KERS is hurting them…

  2. Todfod (@todfod) said on 27th June 2011, 11:44

    Lotus will have to wait until next year or maybe even 2013 before they can seriously challenge the mid field teams. Until then Tony Fernandes should just keep his mouth shut, and make sure the team works hard.

  3. Bleu said on 27th June 2011, 21:15

    Trulli seemed to slow quite much when he was getting lapped by looking at that chart. It could be seen on TV as well, at one point he almost caused accident with Alonso in that final sector.

    Basically that is partly caused by current blue flag rule. Had Trulli not slowed there and let the cars behind him in the final corner or start/finish straight he would probably have been penalized for ignoring blue flags – as there are quite many marshal spots between turns 20 and 25 – flat out section with many small kinks.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th June 2011, 21:58

    It’s not going particularly well for Chandhok, is it?

    I had higher hopes for Lotus this year, pretty uneventful so far!

  5. MattHT (@mattht) said on 28th June 2011, 0:06

    Very uneventful yeah. Did get excited very temporarily by Kovaleinen in qualifying though when I thought he might escape Q1. Alas.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.