Lotus’s eagerness to keep Heikki Kovalainen in front of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov almost ended in disaster for Sebastian Vettel.
|Heikki Kovalainen||Jarno Trulli|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’50.948 (-0.064)||1’51.012|
Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Start tyre||Super soft|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 32.202s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 31.621s|
|Pit stop 3||Soft 31.207s|
Kovalainen began this year’s Singapore Grand Prix the way he ended the last one – with a fire. His brakes burst into flames during the first practice session.
Kovalainen said: “The fire this time was much smaller than last year, and with brakes at the temperatures they run it?óÔé¼Ôäós not uncommon to see them catch like that, but it wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót a major issue at all.”
It didn’t put him off his stride and he duly out-qualified Trulli for the 12th time this year.
He slipped behind Trulli at the start. But an early pit stop allowed him to jump past Vitaly Petrov – Lotus taking advantage of Petrov being stuck behind Trulli.
Kovalainen made his second pit stop before the safety car which allowed him to keep the Renault behind. The pair came in again together for a final stop on lap 47.
This also happened to be while Vettel was making his last pit stop, and Lotus waved Kovalainen out as the Red Bull was passing them. The pair avoided contact, but the stewards fined Lotus for the early release.
Kovalainen caught Jerome d’Ambrosio and spent an intense couple of laps trying to pass the Virgin while under pressure from Petrov. He eventually broke free to finish 16th.
That may be three places lower than the team’s best result this year, but Tony Fernandes described Kovalainen beating Petrov as “sweet” afterwards.
|Start tyre||Super soft|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 31.048s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 33.317s|
|Pit stop 3||Soft 31.168s|
Trulli made a great start and ran in front of both Renaults and Jaime Alguersuari in the opening laps.
Nor were any of them able to find a way past before Trulli made his first pit stop on lap 16. But he was back in three laps later with a puncture after being hit by Alguersuari.
He dropped out of the race late on with gearbox problems – the eighth retirement from a race with a technical problem for a Lotus this year.
2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Vettel and Button take Driver of the Weekend wins
- Rate the race result: 2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Ferrari deny Massa told to cause Hamilton crash
- From Kovalainen’s fire to fireworks: your Singapore videos
- 2011 Singapore Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Singapore GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel supreme as championship beckons
- McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton
- Ferrari: Alonso wants to focus on 2012 in last races
- Force India: Di Resta claims best result yet
Image ?é?® Team Lotus