Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Barcelona, 2011

Lotus: Kovalainen unhappy with strategy before crash

2011 Spanish GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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 position 15 18
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’25.874 (-0.647) 1’26.521
Race position 18
Laps 48/66 64/66
Pit stops 3 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 61
Heikki Kovalainen 104.276 94.461 93.388 93.223 92.942 92.657 92.854 92.774 92.972 93.168 93.45 94.655 95.645 94.949 95.938 99.751 110.402 93.24 92.219 92.39 92.947 92.623 92.426 92.66 94.46 92.918 94.048 97.716 108.818 91.679 90.889 92.322 90.716 90.618 90.751 91.471 91.305 91.689 92.251 93.087 97.836 111.376 90.747 92.063 97.618 93.747 91.651 91.392
Jarno Trulli 103.553 93.968 93.376 93.154 92.951 92.905 92.831 92.895 93.068 93.074 93.419 94.549 94.939 95.454 97.064 111.014 91.752 91.883 91.765 91.684 91.686 91.581 91.581 91.549 91.678 92.111 92.266 94.446 95.725 110.819 91.09 92.5 90.988 90.783 91.138 90.816 92.934 91.223 92.797 91.876 92.643 91.59 94.702 112.849 92.233 92.426 91.867 91.974 93.557 93.815 92.776 92.334 97.051 92.833 93.328 92.579 91.784 92.081 95.228 93.392 93.951
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Barcelona, 2011
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Barcelona, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Was encouraged by the progress made on Friday, saying: “I think we?ve 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?s 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.

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

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?m happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today.

“There?s still a bit of work to do to catch up with the guys in front, but it?s fantastic that we?ve 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.”

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Spanish Grand Prix articles

13 comments on “Lotus: Kovalainen unhappy with strategy before crash”

  1. Douglas62500
    23rd May 2011, 11:56

    Fingers crossed for this team. Let’s just hope that could sort out their upgrades and chase down Williams.

    1. Ditto!

  2. Respect for Trulli to keep going after having the umpteenth problem with a gearbox or power steering.

    Looks like Lotus is getting a competative speed into their car. But the reliability must stem Virgin hopefull they might still catch them.

    1. Trulli always has problems, he’s never satisfied with the car but qualifies close to Kovalainen (although I feel he exaggerates at times). If he had a working car what would he do? Still, nice to see Lotus so ahead in qualifying.

  3. Looking at that laptime chart, both Lotus cars seem to have run about two or three laps too long on the first, and at least a lap too many on second stint.

    Glad to finally see Trulli be a bit more positive, it was about time. It is not as easy as the team claimed at the start of the season to make up time, but they do seem to be making progress.

  4. Yeh seemed a bit of a poor strategy from Lotus…

  5. Funny really that in the year when Team Lotus start getting their act together, the racing at the front is so compelling that they hardly get seen at all.

    Kovalainen’s crash would have got about a dozen replays for most of the last decade, but this time we only saw a puff of dust from an on-board shot as Vettel passed the scene…

  6. I hope that they continue to improve. I love their colors and their link to Caterham.

  7. “But all in all, it was a very good race for me. I fought like a lion and I’m happy with myself and felt that I really got the best out of the car today”.

    Trulli finally sounds happy about something. Lets hope things continue to improve for him.

  8. but had to readjust their expectations on Froday.


    1. Typo. Fixed.

  9. Great qualifying from Lotus! The choice of tyres from Force India shouldn’t take away from their achievement. Keep it up. Gutted for Heikki though.

  10. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

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

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.