Lotus: Trulli over a minute behind Kovalainen

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

An unwell Jarno Trulli was outclassed by Heikki Kovalainen in Abu Dhabi.

Heikki Kovalainen Jarno Trulli
Qualifying position 17 18
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’42.979 (-0.905) 1’43.884
Race position 17 18
Laps 54/55 53/55
Pit stops 2 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
Heikki Kovalainen 122.351 111.812 110.787 111.439 110.38 109.513 109.345 109.055 109.089 109.103 109.048 108.683 108.967 109.342 109.295 110.978 129.837 108.542 108.435 108.598 108.462 108.555 108.134 109.061 108.147 108.128 107.914 107.583 107.681 109.234 110.015 107.58 108.067 107.62 107.5 108.203 107.265 107.731 109.473 129.785 109.269 108.405 108.476 107.65 107.066 107.137 107.032 107.005 107.089 106.61 109.476 106.944 107.412 107.445
Jarno Trulli 124.833 113.732 112.538 112.061 111.686 110.8 110.238 110.318 110.875 109.494 109.383 111.26 109.881 109.77 110.155 109.895 112.528 130.537 109.61 109.639 109.356 111.395 108.845 108.473 108.52 108.256 111.231 108.025 108.003 107.825 108.296 110.04 107.82 107.464 109.439 107.444 111.329 109.813 107.773 108.069 107.538 109.539 131.206 110.464 109.142 112.099 111.578 109.576 110.759 110.912 108.256 107.69 108.496

Heikki Kovalainen

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.146s
Pit stop 2 Medium 20.652s

After qualifying ahead of Trulli as usual (the score is now 15-2), Kovalainen’s thoughts were on the next qualifying session rather than the next race:

“I’m looking forward to Brazil where we have an update to the rear wing coming ?ǣ that should give us a better chance of using the DRS more effectively around the whole lap in qualifying, helping us get much closer to our race pace on Saturday afternoons, so another quick lap like that in Brazil with the update would be a great way to finish the qualifying sessions this season.”

Having started on softs, Kovalainen raced with some of the drivers who had started the race on medium tyres. Such as Kamui Kobayashi, who he passed on lap five in the DRS zone. He also kept the Williams pair behind him before pitting on lap 12 for soft tyres.

But as those who’d started on mediums switched to softs, Kovalainen was unable to keep them behind. Rubens Barrichello passed him on lap 24 and Sergio Perez did likewise ten laps later.

Kovalainen’s last pit stop dropped him behind Bruno Senna, before being demoted to 17th by Jaime Alguersuari.

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.824s
Pit stop 2 Medium 20.791s

Trulli arrived in Abu Dhabi with a fever and his difficulties were compounded by a loss of track time in final practice due to a gearbox problem.

His clutch slipped at the start and he was passed by Barrichello, Timo Glock and Vitantonio Liuzzi. However he soon passed the HRT driver and moved up to 17th.

Despite running the same strategy as his team mate he finished a huge 64 seconds behind. Much of that was lost in the final stint when they were on medium tyres, when Trulli was 1-2 seconds per lap slower than his team mate and lost more time being lapped.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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19 comments on Lotus: Trulli over a minute behind Kovalainen

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2011, 10:53

    Interesting rumour I heard about Trulli – someone may be able to buy his race seat for the price of half his 2011 salary.

    • Honestly Trulli deserves retirement more than Barrichello. True, Kovalainen is better than Maldonado, but also when Trulli has used the functioning power-steering he’s failed to beat his team mate. Rubens has done so more often.

  2. Why is Trulli still in F1. His days are long over and I m not saying this based on this performance. He should have been kicked out when Toyota failed to win a race in 2009 despite having huge chances in Malaysia, Japan and Belgium.

  3. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th November 2011, 10:56

    I don’t want to come down too hard on Trulli after a weekend of feeling unwell, but how often has he sparkled this year? I would have liked to see some young blood partnering Kovalainen next year, but perhaps Team Lotus just doesn’t have any suitable replacements at hand. I know Chandok and Luis Razia are associated with the team, but neither has impressed me that much.

  4. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 14th November 2011, 10:57

    Even without fever Trulli is the man struggling very hard against his team mate,not sure why Lotus had him in 2012,they could have gone for other option.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 14th November 2011, 11:31

      Indeed, the idea of needing the experience is not the case anymore, because Kovalainen is now a fully developed driver and has plenty of experience. Heikki can lead the team on his own while the other seat should be taken by some young gun.

  5. i think car development can be done by rookies too.. look at Toro Rosso they did a great job of making the car go quicker w/o any veteran driver of development pedigree. They should immediately sign some young rookie who is quick like Hulkenberg or Daniel Riccardo. There is no point in continuing with Trulli.

  6. John H (@john-h) said on 14th November 2011, 13:50

    Trulli might moan about power steering (all the time), but it must have magically fixed itself between laps 32 and 36 if that’s his excuse this time.

  7. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th November 2011, 13:53

    I don’t like to bash drivers, but Jarno really does have to go now. 15-2 down in qualifying, finsihing over a minute behind his team mate…he’s been appalling this year. He just hasn’t seemed to be interested in being involved in the sport for the last 2 years.

    Time to hang up your helmet and let Razia or Chandhok have a go Jarno.

    • Mr draw said on 14th November 2011, 14:11

      I think Chandok would have been two laps behind Kovalainen. It’s a pity that such a great driver like Kovalainen is wasting his talents in this dog of a car. Trulli hasn’t done anything impressive this season, although he was usually not far off his teammate’s pace. It’s the driver Lotus deserves at the moment.

    • Outsider said on 14th November 2011, 14:36

      Yeah. I think Jarno has been an above average driver at best, he’s had a reasonable run and it’s time to go, just like Ruebens. They seem to have lost the fight in them. If Trulli goes I don’t think either one of the guys on the books at Caterham will get the seat. It’s gonna be open..fancy Robert Wickens perhaps? Haha

  8. I’ve been very impressed with Kovalainen in the past few races, he has outclassed Trulli, and has given the midfield runners some trouble also. I hope Lotus can significantly improve for next season so we can see him score points.

    • brombillaf1 (@brombillaf1) said on 14th November 2011, 15:22

      More and more in actual F1 we are seeing more gap between same team’s drivers. The cars are getting more hard and with adaptation’s need to run on top times. Trulli, Webber and Massa sure can tell us.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th November 2011, 21:43

    Lotus are a difficult one. I don’t know if they seem to be doing so well ‘cos Williams are doing so terribly. Either way, Kovalainen is ragging the hell out of the car. I’m quietly confident that Virgin/Marussia will sort themselves out so perhaps any jump they will make next year will be softened by them being on their backside.

  10. Diogo Silva (@) said on 14th November 2011, 23:12

    Kovy clearly one of the top 10 drivers in 2011 !!

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