Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit

Lotus: Both drivers unhappy with HRT rivals

2011 Indian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Lotus duo blamed HRT drivers for delays in their race.

Heikki Kovalainen Jarno Trulli
Qualifying position 18 19
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’28.565 (-0.187) 1’28.752
Race position 14 19
Laps 58/60 55/60
Pit stops 2 3

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


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 59 60
Heikki Kovalainen 106.173 97.308 96.011 95.49 95.142 94.344 94.476 93.758 93.927 93.698 93.664 93.354 93.397 93.657 93.195 93.346 93.464 93.032 93.077 93.458 96.243 111.312 92.645 92.925 93.769 93.836 92.892 92.27 92.008 93.105 93.321 91.682 92.146 95.17 91.774 92.7 91.867 91.548 91.403 91.982 94.248 111.17 92.715 91.758 91.287 91.293 93.061 91.062 91.296 91.737 91.393 91.212 93.278 93.393 90.845 90.623 92.361 90.294
Jarno Trulli 191.592 136.721 98.794 97.392 97.051 97.032 96.179 95.843 95.718 95.952 97.02 99.914 100.774 97.731 99.344 98.748 97.183 95.295 97.658 98.121 96.466 97.502 95.836 97.837 94.542 96.528 102.353 115.198 94.537 96.674 95.667 97.071 93.701 95.193 92.934 93.984 93.932 95.695 94.74 95.256 95.413 92.494 96.814 92.364 95.416 92.76 93.815 93.369 91.885 95 92.345 91.691 94.662 95.853 124.901

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.226s
Pit stop 2 Hard 22.001s

As ever it was Kovalainen who led the way for Lotus, confirming their gradual progress towards the midfield by qualifying seven-tenths of a second slower than Kamui Kobayashi.

As several cars in front of him made early pit stops, Kovalainen briefly ran 14th and was as high as tenth before his first pit stop.

He kept Bruno Senna in sight in the first stint but dropped back in the second. The recovering Vitaly Petrov and Paul di Resta came past him, and he finished 14th.

After the race he was critical of the HRT drivers: “I was seriously held up by the HRTs when they had blue flags shown to them. I think they held up Lewis [Hamilton] as well and they definitely cost me quite a lot of time.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 40.734s
Pit stop 2 Soft 22.894s
Pit stop 3 Hard 24.1501s

Trulli was hit by Narain Karthikeyan on the first lap, tipping him into a spin. He had to drag the car back to the pits with a puncture and rear floor damage.

This left him over two minutes behind at the end of lap two, making for a very boring race. “The bad luck struck again,” he lamented.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

Karun Chandhok

Drove Heikki Kovalainen’s car in first practice.

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Team Lotus

24 comments on “Lotus: Both drivers unhappy with HRT rivals”

  1. Great opening stint from Heikki, slowly catching Senna and lapping within 2.5 seconds or so of Vettel most of the time. Shame his next set of tyres weren’t as good as without that he could have stayed with di Resta and that lot in sight

  2. It seems the start of the race was pretty chaotic for lots of the drivers..Broken wings, cars on fire..

    Back to the topic, Lotus is a team with a good package and the right people..But sometimes, i question their decisions..

    The result of Trulli probably made us wonder what would have happened if Chandhock got the drive instead

    1. If Chandok had got hit by NK it wouldn’t get any better

      1. Might have led to an indian civil war :-P

    2. Unfortunately Trulli’s race was ruined after a few corners, otherwise he might have finished in front of Barrichello too. Chandhok rear-ended his car whilst leaving the pits in the practice, so I don’t think he would have done something extraordinary in the race. But we’ll never know.

  3. Impressive race by Kovalainen, however I am not going to judge Trulli’s. He was very unlucky at the start, and surely the floor damage influenced his race, but his lap times were unconsistent.

    1. @Fixy Trulli did say that his car was undriveable from there on. He had to do a whole lap with a punctured tyre and then car’s balance was awful. He really was unlucky.

    2. On the contrary
      31st October 2011, 17:25

      Its interesting how bad luck always hits certain drivers in every team consistently.

      Fisichella, Trulli, Massa and now Lewis may soon join the elite batch if he doesn’t stop making those mistakes consistently.

  4. I’ve been mightily impressed by Kovalainen this season. If there’s a chance of getting into Q2, it’s him who does it, if there’s a chance of finishing ahead of someone from the established teams, he does it. And he always overtakes some of those on lap one.

    He definitely deserves at least a midfield car and I really hope Lotus provides him that next year.

  5. On the contrary
    31st October 2011, 17:23

    a) Heikki needs to be picked by a better team. He is wasting his talent with Lotus.

    b) Wasn’t it last year when Tony Fernandes had gone on record with his rant that blue flags be done away with and Gascoyne joined the chorus? Their reason back then was slowing down for lead lap cars and leaving racing line makes them lose around 4 seconds per lap…. Luckily this blog provides lap charts for all the teams, if you compare the times lost by HRT drivers in the letting go the lead drivers, its bang on 4 seconds, especially the final stint where they were being lapped you can clearly notice a pattern, one lap NK and RICC post 1:33 next lap its 1:37 again.

    So lapped traffic is part of racing and so is losing time behind it. Tony-Lotus needs to stop this whining.

    What can be bad for a driver, having to fall in line and lie for front running team when it screws your race and qualifying strategy? or lie for low running team when it makes these pathetic complains. My heart goes out for Heikki again, for a driver of his talent, he deserves better than the deals he got at Renault, McLaren and now in Lotus…. Sad….

    1. Heikki’s done really well this year, but when given a title winning car, he suffered from Fisichella syndrome.

      1. I wouldn’t be so sure. I get the feeling he’s twice the driver now than he was at Mclaren, plus alongside Hamilton it was pretty obvious what his duty was.

      2. On the contrary
        2nd November 2011, 9:06

        FYI being in winning team, doesn’t necessarily means you get winning car and winning strategy.

        While Ferrari makes no bones about having one #1 driver and other has to comply, McLaren are total hypocrites on this front.

        If you read every single race debrief in Kovy’s McLaren tenure, the team(Whitmarsh, who played the good cop back then) confessed in every single of them of heavy fuelling Kovy thus giving him inferior strategy in qualifying and hence race (forcing to run mid-field in dirty air).

        Same was case of Fisichella in 2005 when team started giving his inferior strategy, losing time on his pitstops after he won the first race for the team ahead of Alonso at Melbourne. By 2006 Fisi was done in head, something that happened with Kovy in 2009.

        If McLaren had been fair to Kovy and given him same shot at qualifying strategies as Lewis and he had goofed up by not securing pole, McLaren had a good case. unfortunately that never happened. So like it or not, Kovy was stuck with justifying his team screwing him back then and he is doing the same by falling in line with Tony and Mike’s pointless rant…

        1. But when Kovalainen was at McLaren, there was no one beating the drum about them offering equal treatment to both drivers.

          Everyone expected them to treat Hamilton as their first driver. That changed when Button came.

          The rest of your comment is not really clear to me. What did Fisi have to do with McLaren?

    2. To be fair, Kovalainen seems pretty happy with Lotus. If he can even score a point next season with Lotus, that’s one hell of an achievement. It’s all relative.

      1. On the contrary
        2nd November 2011, 9:10

        Yup that maybe the case, he might have adjusted his expectation after the right opportunities and events didn’t happened in first 2-3 years of his F1 career after he entered F1 circus has driver who had whooped Michael Schumacher at the peak of his career in the Race of Champions.

        Probably now he has realized to make hay while the sun shines. Why should he deny opportunity to drive a F1 car, get paid for it afterall…

  6. @keithcollantine

    The Team Lotus facebook page says that Trulli was hit by Daniel Riccardo on the first lap?

    1. @1abe Well… they’re wrong! It was definitely Karthikeyan.

      Perhaps they forgot HRT moved Ricciardo from 22 to 23, putting Karthikeyan in 22 with the red camera.

    2. On the contrary
      2nd November 2011, 9:14

      main thing is that its Karthikeyan’s fault and that’s what matters.

      After all he is the driver who brings in loads of monies and denies wannabe hamiltons and vettels who were waiting anxiously to drive that HRT car thus lowering the overall quality of drivers in F1. The blogger and the visitors of this site are doing wonderful job in their crusade against this trend of pay drivers throwing monies on back of the grid team…

  7. Great result for Kovalainen :D

    He is having a great second half to his season. He’s starting to beat the Williams more and more and it’s great to see, unless you’re Williams of course.

  8. Correct me if I am wrong,I know Jarno have a 2012 contract but do Heikki have anything in record?

  9. “I was seriously held up by the HRTs when they had blue flags shown to them. I think they held up Lewis [Hamilton] as well and they definitely cost me quite a lot of time.”
    Tough. A driver who has shown blue flags has no obligation to move over immediately. He has an obligation to move over at the earliest possible opportunity when it is safe to do so. So, if Kovalainen caught, say, Ricciardo just as Riccirado entered Turn 5, he’d probably have to wait until Turn 10 for Ricciardo to move over, because that is the safest place to do it.

    1. Not to mention that last year both Lotus drivers supported their boss in questioning the need to have blue flags at all (Glock was a bit more vocal on it, but they supported it)!

  10. Remarkable consistency from Heikki in his first stint – look at the lap times from lap 8 to lap 20. He is wringing the absolute maximum from that Lotus and they are getting tantalisingly close to competitiveness with the midfield teams. Don’t forget that the Renault, which Heikki kept in sight in the first stint, was on the podium twice at the start of the year. Here’s hoping that next year Lotus have made enough of a step forward to mix it with the big boys and challenge for points.

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