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Posts tagged “Heikki Kovalainen

Team Lotus Launch Their 2011 Machine The T128

Team Lotus (the one who raced last year) have become the second team to officially pull the covers off their new 2011 car.

The green and yellow liveried machine will start be raced by Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen this season under the name of Team Lotus as the management’s row with Group Lotus, now affiliated with Renault, continues.

The new car retains the 50’s yellow and green livery that fans came to know and love last season.  New sponsors stand side by side with old ones, on the now Renault powered machine.

On the technical side, Mike Gascoyne has said that the T128 is far more exciting, intricate and advanced than last seasons T128.  There is much more thought and special design in the front wing roll hoop and on the side pods especially.  The rool hoop/air box design is very similar to the blade design used by Mercedes in 2010, although this had been outlawed by the FIA – Lotus have found a way around the regulations.

“I think that basically this car looks like a frontrunning car in every area,” Mike Gascoyne said. “We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that’s very achievable.”

“With last year’s car and especially the first half of the season it was just an exercise in survival, whereas from the middle of last year it was about building the team up – that’s when we started working on this car

“I think the thing that was a challenge this year was that the 2010 car really was a one-off, because of the way it was done with the design team and the time we had.

“There’s been almost no carry-over of parts for the 2011 car, whereas normally you’d have a substantial carry-over and the chance to optimise last year’s parts.”

Elliot Dason-Barber, head of R&D added: “The area that intrigues me the most is the front suspension, and the rear as well actually.  We’ve tried to push the boundaries with a few things to make it a bit lighter and more efficient.”

The team’s aim this season then looks to be fighting at the front.

Veteran Jarno Trulli, who endured a torrid 2010 campaign with the team said this morning: “Sitting on the grid in Bahrain this year will feel very different – a different tension,”

“Last year we were just aiming to finish the race. This year we’ll be aiming to finish in the points. With the package we have, that should be achievable.”

 

 

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Race Of Champions Round Up: Germany & Albuquerque Win, Kovalainen Drama

Team Germany ran away to success in the Race of Champions Nation Cup last weekend, a victory on home soil in Dusseldorf for the pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

The pair overcame stiff competition from top motorsport countries of the world, as drivers from all motorsport disciplines tried their hand in a variety of cars on the circuit.

Meanwhile in the individual classification there was a surprise winner in Filipe Albuquerque, the relative unknown driver who has spent the last two seasons racing GT cars in Italy.  He previously raced in Gp2 and Formula Renault 3.5.

“I was not really expecting to win. I just came here to do my best. I don’t know if it will open doors. I think I know what I want. But let’s see, take it day by day.

“I came here, did my best, when it counted it was good. Even if I had not won, even being so close to Sebastien [Loeb] in the end was already really good for me.”

Meanwhile there was drama for 2004 champion and Lotus F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen.  Following victory in an Audi R8 race, the Finn crashed and knocked himself unconscious.

“Hardcore shunt with throttle jammed and rear suspension damaged, got knocked out, now some medical checkups,” he wrote on his Twitter page.

“Head’s a bit sore, I was unconscious for 30 seconds”

 


Hungarian GP 2010: Webber Wins As Strategy Pays Off

Mark Webber took victory in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix thanks to a good strategy and some fantastic laps following a safety car period which turned the race from sedate to absolute chaos.

Fernando Alonso came home in 2nd place, a good points haul for the Ferrari driver while pole position sitter Sebastian Vettel failed to convert his grid place into a race win.

Race Review

Hungarian Grand Prix are not known to be particularly exciting, and following the first few laps it looked like nothing would be different today.  Jaime Alguerusari was an early retirement thanks to a major engine failure, and to add insult to injury the young Spaniard dropped oil all over the circuit.

Sebastian Vettel provided majority of the early entertainment with some scorching laps, pulling away from Fernando Alonso who had the pick of the starts slotting himself ahead of Mark Webber despite being on the dirty side of the grid.

Another notable start was from Vitaly Petrov, the young Russian who managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton.  He slid off and threw that away though, but it was promising from him, we like his style.

On lap 13, a piece of Tonio Liuzzi’s front wing came off and a safety car was called out to retrieve it.  Vettel’s lead was gone and everyone dived into the pits.  Chaos ensued, with Robert Kubica being let out of his pit box straight into the path of Adrian Sutil.  They collided, Kubica would later be penalised with a 10 second stop/go.  While this was going on, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes parted company with its rear right tyre which bounded down the pitlane at high speed, missing mechanics, hitting one and eventually being caught by a brave Sauber man.  Unbelieveable stuff.

Mark Webber chose not to pit, and with some help from Vettel backing the pack up the Australian pulled away, his soft compound Bridgestone’s lasting longer and longer.

Vettel was then given a penalty for not staying close enough to the safety car, exceeding 10 car lengths.  He had to serve a drive through penalty, something the young German was not happy about.  He flailed his arms around like a baby throwing its toys out of the pram – not very sportsman like.  Still, this meant he was now down to third and with easily the fastest car he set about chasing Fernando Alonso.

However despite catching him rather quickly, Vettel was unable to dispatch the Ferrari of Alonso and eventually finished 3rd.  Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa, finished 4th a good points haul for the Scuderia.

Right at the end of the race we had an exciting battle with old wounds being opened, between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.  The Brazilian fought to get passed Schumacher, his former team mate and arch nemesis and with a handful of laps to go he tried to squeeze down the inside of Michael.  Schumacher, in typical style, forced Rubens into a corner and gave him just enough room.  At about 200mph, Barrichello was milimeters away from hitting the pitwall, a manoeuvre that he called “Erratic” and “Ridiculous”.  However Schumacher defended the move, and has been handed a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.

Webber’s win puts him right back in it thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s break down.  It means that Alonso too is only a matter of points away from the top, as Red Bull and Ferrari slog it out at the top.  McLaren will certainly be hoping for a turn in their fortunes after the summer break.

Race Result

Pos Driver Team Time
1 M. Webber Red Bull Renault 1.41.05.571
2 F. Alonso Ferrari +17.821
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +19.252
4 F. Massa Ferrari +27.474
5 V. Petrov Renault +1.13.100
6 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth +1.16.700
7 P. De la Rosa Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
8 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +1 lap
9 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
10 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1 lap
11 M. Schumacher Mercedes +1 lap
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
13 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +1 lap
14 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
15 J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
16 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +3 laps
17 B. Senna Hispania Cosworth +3 laps
18 L. di Grassi Virgin Cosworth +4 laps
19 S. Yamamoto Hispania Cosworth +4 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 25 Gearbox
R. Kubica Renault 25 Unknown
N. Rosberg Mercedes 17 Wheel Failure – Pitlane
A Sutil Force India Mercedes 17 Pitlane Incident
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 2 Engine Failure

Penalties – Post Race

Team/Driver Penalty Reason
M. Schumacher 10 Place Grid – Next Race Dangerous Driving
Mercedes Benz $50,000 Fine Wheel falling off Rosberg’s Car
Renault $50,000 Fine Releasing Kubica into Sutil’s path causing accident in pit

Lotus On Verge Of Renault Engine Deal For 2011

Lotus are on the verge of signing a deal with Renault for the French manufacturer to provide the team with customer engines for the 2011 season, according to the BBC.

The team, which returned to F1 this season, is currently locked into a deal with Cosworth the popular British engine manufacturer.  While Mike Gascoyne says he wants to work with Cosworth, during the weekend at Silverstone both he and team boss Tony Fernandes were spotted having talks with Renault engine technicians.

Renault currently supply their own works team, and the successful Red Bull Racing team.  Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, Lotus’ two current drivers who are confirmed to be racing for the team next year are former Renault drivers.

When asked about the situation, Gascoyne refused to comment, saying: “We have a contract with Cosworth and we’re discussing with them ways to work together in the future.”


British GP 2010: Vettel Storms To Pole As Button Falters

Sebastian Vettel scored another pole position, a vital pole ahead of team mate Mark Webber ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.

Despite laps which were not completely clean, the superior pace of the Red Bull led to Webber leading through both Q1 and Q2, but it was Vettel that stole the show in Q3.  Red Bull have again been accused of favouritism toward the young German, something which team boss Christian Horner profusely denies.

Fernando Alonso made it into 3rd, a stellar effort in the Ferrari which is certainly looking like the second fastest car – although he was blocked in Q3 by Rubens Barrichello.  Team mate Felipe Massa could not do as well, and will start 7th tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton has the hopes of the entire home nation on his shoulders, despite a poor weekend for the McLaren with their blown diffuser failure, he starts 4th.  Team mate Button starts 10 place further back in 14th.  Not good for the 2009 World Champion.  Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren tells us that they are only keeping 6 of the new parts on the car from an initial start list of about 30 new pieces.  Still lots of work to do.

Rosberg and Kubica are 5th and 6th, with Barrichello, De la Rosa and Michael Schumacher rounding out the top 10.

Jaime Alguersuari got caught out in Q1, and will start ion 18th – the young Spaniard was clearly unimpressed.

Sakon Yamamoto, Bruno Senna’s replacement at Hispania just looked poor.  Indeed both HRT’s were appalling today, some 6 seconds off the pace through Q1.  If the 107% rule was in, the new Japanese man would not be racing tomorrow.  The other new teams, Lotus and Virgin now have an easy 2 second advantage over the Spanish outfit.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3       
 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:30.841  1:30.480  1:29.615
 2.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:30.858  1:30.114  1:29.758
 3.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:30.997  1:30.700  1:30.426
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:31.297  1:31.118  1:30.556
 5.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:31.626  1:31.085  1:30.625
 6.  Kubica         Renault                1:31.680  1:31.344  1:31.040
 7.  Massa          Ferrari                1:31.313  1:31.010  1:31.172
 8.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:31.424  1:31.126  1:31.175
 9.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:31.533  1:31.327  1:31.274
10.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:32.058  1:31.022  1:31.430
11.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:31.109  1:31.399
12.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:31.851  1:31.421
13.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:32.144  1:31.635
14.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:31.435  1:31.699
15.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:32.226  1:31.708
16.  Petrov         Renault                1:31.638  1:31.796
17.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:31.901  1:32.012
18.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:32.430
19.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:34.405
20.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:34.775
21.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:34.864
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:35.212
23.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           1:36.576
24.  Yamamoto       HRT-Cosworth           1:36.968

Q


Malaysian GP 2010: Webber Takes Pole As McLaren and Ferrari Stumble

Mark Webber took pole position for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix in wet conditions.   Nico Rosberg slotted his Mercedes Benz into 2nd to give him a career first front row grid start.  Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel will start 3rd.

The session was hampered by the weather and will be remembered best for decisions made by two of the best teams in the business, McLaren and Ferrari who decided the rain in Q1 would stop so they could get a late run in, however it didnt – the rain got worse and both Ferrari’s and Lewis Hamilton were knocked out.  Embarrassing for teams who should be much more professional.   Jenson Button made it into Q2, but couldn’t start as he stuffed his McLaren into the gravel at the end of Q1.  He aquaplaned through a river into the gravel while on intermediate tyres.

Ferrari’s loss was Lotus’ gain, the team heavily supported by Malaysia managed to get one of its cars, driven by Heikki Kovalainen through to Q2 and the Finn qualified 15th, one place ahead of Timo Glock in the Virgin meaning Lotus were the best qualified new team as well as that euphoria of getting through to the second phase of qualifying.

Kamui Kobayashi also took advantage of rivals falling by the way side and the popular Japanese put his Sauber Ferrari into 9th place, one behind veteran German Michael Schumacher and some places and one session ahead of team mate Pedro de La Rosa.

Another worthy note is for Force India, the former back markers getting both cars into Q3, with Liuzzi 10tyh and Adrian Sutil an astonishing 4th just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg the rookie German slotting his car home into 5th.

With such a mixed up grid, and the potential for changeable weather, expect a crazy Grand Prix tomorrow morning.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3
 1.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:51.886  1:48.210  1:49.327
 2.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:52.560  1:47.417  1:50.673
 3.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:47.632  1:46.828  1:50.789
 4.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:49.479  1:47.085  1:50.914
 5.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:49.664  1:47.346  1:51.001
 6.  Kubica         Renault                1:46.283  1:46.951  1:51.051
 7.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:50.301  1:48.371  1:51.511
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:52.239  1:48.400  1:51.717
 9.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:48.467  1:47.792  1:51.767
10.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:49.922  1:48.238  1:52.254
11.  Petrov         Renault                1:47.952  1:48.760
12.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:47.153  1:48.771
13.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:48.945  1:49.207
14.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:48.655  1:49.464
15.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:52.875  1:52.270
16.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:52.398  1:52.520
17.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:52.211
18.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:52.884
19.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:53.044
20.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:53.050
21.  Massa          Ferrari                1:53.283
22.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           1:56.299
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:57.269
24.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:59.977

Australian GP 2010: Button Wins First Race For McLaren

Jenson Button turned a race of the highest quality today in Australia to win his first race for the McLaren team, on a circuit where he dominated with Brawn last season.

Robert Kubica grabbed a heroic second place for Renault, and Felipe Massa hung on to third mostly thanks to his team mate Fernando Alonso.

Race Review

There was always an outside chance of rain at the Melbourne circuit, and it came just before the race leaving everyone to start on intermediates on a damp, cold circuit.  The race was always going to deliver the excitement that we didn’t get in Bahrain and it came thick from the first corner.

Fernando Alonso got a poor start, in contrast to team mate Felipe Massa.  Alonso came into turn 1 and was punted from the inside by Jenson Button, pushing the Spaniard into Michael Schumacher.  The two former World Champions got damage and were forced to the back of the field, Schumacher by a pit stop and Alonso by the virtue that he was spun 180.

Further down the first lap, Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber lost its front wing on the straight for no reason, sending him in an out of control slide into Sebastien Buemi and Nico Hulkenberg knocking all 3 out of the race and bringing the safety car out for the first time.

This allowed Alonso and Schumacher to bunch up the back of the field, and Alonso cut through the field brilliantly, while Schumacher got held back and only ended up finishing in 10th place, his overtaking less competent than Alonso’s and certainly less competent than we are used to from the former master.  Is it the car or is it Schumacher?

Massa had got in front of Webber before the safety car, but lost position when it went into the pits, leaving the Brazilian scrapping with Kubica and Rosberg for 3rd, 4th and 5th.   Jenson Button pitted early for some slick tyres, a move which seemed crazy but eventually led him to win the race.  He was setting hot lap times and the rest of the field pitted, but it was poor timing for Massa who ended up well behind the pack of McLaren’s, Red Bull’s, Kubica and Rosberg, while at this point he was being caught by Alonso and Hamilton both of whom had worked their way through the field.

Only the Red Bull’s did not pit, leaving it a bit late.  Vettel got away unscathed, but Webber on cold tyres made a mistake into turn 1, and cars zipped passed him with ease.  However only a handful of laps later, and Massa looked poor once again, with Webber slotting passed and Hamilton following.  Later on a similar move would cause Massa to force team mate Fernando Alonso off the track and to lose positions that he ultimately would not recover.

A scorching Hamilton now hassled Rosberg, whom he passed with ease around the outside into 13.  His charge only cooled by waved yellows from Sebastian Vettel’s stranded Red Bull, the young cocky German had stuffed it into the gravel trap with suspected brake failure.

The crash handed Button the lead, and allowed Kubica second place which would ultimately be the final positions for the two who decided not to pit for fresh slicks.  The optional second pit stop was instigated by Michael Schumacher, who down in 12th decided on some fresh soft Bridgestones and was lapping nearly 2s per lap quicker.  Hamilton and Webber were notable names to pit, but both Ferrari’s did not pit.

Felipe Massa appeared to be holding up Fernando Alonso but it was lucky for the Brazilian his resilient team mate was behind as Alonso began a heroic drive to the finish.  With Hamilton gaining 2seconds or more per lap on the Ferrari’s, Alonso managed to hold off the charge from the British former World Champion and his McLaren nemesis for over 10 laps to the finish a brilliant piece of driving skill which should have been rewarded with a trophy.

But with 2 laps remaining, a hot headed Mark Webber once again clashed with Lewis Hamilton leading them both to finish much further down the points than they should have done, but Alonso’s work was not done as Nico Rosberg charged to the back of the Ferrari but couldn’t make a move stick.

Liuzzi and Barrichello were 7th and 8th, having a quiet race amidst all the action.  Schumacher took the final points position, with Alguersuari just behind the young Spaniard giving the old German a hard time and no doubt learning more than ever before.  De La Rosa was 12th, but the best mentions have to go to Heiki Kovalainen who finished another race for Lotus and Karun Chadhok who managed to FINISH the race for Hispania, unbeliveable!  Congratulations to both teams.

Race Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 J. Button McLaren Mercedes 1.33.36.531
2 R. Kubica Renault +12.034
3 F. Massa Ferrari +14.488
4 F. Alonso Ferrari +16.304
5 N. Rosberg Mercedes Benz +16.683
6 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +29.898
7 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +59.847
8 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1.00.536
9 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +1.07.319
10 M. Schumacher Mercedes Benz +1.09.391
11 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari +1.11.301
12 P. De La Rosa Sauber Ferrari +1.14.084
13 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth +2 laps
14 K. Chandhok Hispania HRT +4 laps

Retirements:

Driver Team Lap Reason
T. Glock Virgin 41 Fuel
S. Vettel Red Bull Renault 26 Brake Failure
L. Di Grassi Virgin 25 Hydraulic
A. Sutil Force India 12 Unknown
V. Petrov Renault 10 Accident
B. Senna Hispania HRT 5 Unknown
S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1 Accident
N. Hulkenberg Williams 1 Accident
K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 1 Accident
J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth 1 Fuel Pressure

Post Race Interviews

Jenson Button – McLaren Mercedes (1st):  “It is very special.  It has taken me a little while to get to grips inside the car, but the team has been fantastic and welcomed me in.  It is difficult to put it into words, it is a very special feeling and we will take a lot from this. I feel I am building in confidence, and I hope in the next rate we can do something similar as this feels too good.”

Robert Kubica – Renault (2nd):  “To be honest we were not expecting to finish on the podium, for Renault and myself it is a special result. We were pushing hard during the winter and this was the best result we could get for the beginning of the season. This is big thanks to all the guys.  We have to stay realistic, we are not up to pace to finish on the podium normally. We need to keep pushing and I am sure we will manage sooner or later to be on the pace.”

Felipe Massa – Ferrari (3rd):  “I had a fantastic start, without wheelspin, and I saw many cars, especially Fernando and [Mark] Webber having some wheelspin.  I did a very smooth start and passed them in a very good way. I was happy with the start and whole race was very difficult, very slippery and low grip everywhere.  My best result in Australia before was sixth, and in 2007 I had problems in qualifying and started last. It’s not the best race for me in terms of pace, and we lost some positions at the pitstop and a bit on track because of mistakes, so it is fantastic to have one second and one third.”

Fernando Alonso – Ferrari (4th): It was a fantastic result in the end for the team, and for myself as well. So, I was ready to sign before the race for this result – if you win the race you take seven points to your main competitor.  Now, I took 12 points to Vettel, to Michael and to some of the main rivals for the championship. So it has been a much better race in terms of points than Bahrain, if you compare with your main competitor.  I was not convinced that I could recover the positions to get into the points, [but] the car was perfect, and now even thinking through the race and all the analysis – there is the possibility that you can win the race even starting last because the car was so much quicker today than all the others.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India (7th):  “Another great race and another great result for the team,” said Liuzzi, who charged back from 13th place to score points for the second race in succession.  It’s a confirmation of the pace we showed in Bahrain and the work the team did over the winter.  We worked hard all weekend for this seventh place and it’s a brilliant result at the end of what was a crazy race.”

Michael Schumacher – Mercedes Benz (10th):  “I could have had a good race today so it was a pity that I was hit right after the start,” Schumacher said. “That incident decided my race obviously. But things like that happen and you have to just say ‘that’s racing’.  I had to take the remainder of the race from last position but I have to say that I was still having fun as our pace today was promising and for part of the race, we were going quicker than the top group.  It was nice to pick up a point and we can take that good feeling into the next race where we will look forward to another challenge.”

Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus Cosworth (13th):  “I enjoyed it today and had good fun out there. Our target was to finish the race and from the start we were quite comfortably ahead of the new teams. When [Virgin’s Timo] Glock dropped out I just focused on keeping up a decent rhythm, not making any mistakes and bringing the car home.  Now we go to Malaysia with a good feeling and we’re all looking forward to that.”

Karun Chandhok – Hispania HRT (14th):  “To finish was very difficult today, and all the more satisfying because of that.  I dedicate this race result to all the mechanics and engineers who worked so hard since Bahrain, without any pre-season testing. This is a fantastic day for the team and a great step forward.  I am proud to have ended our first race. We achieved the best result we could do today. We have to keep pushing and working and we will manage to finish even higher.”

Christian Horner – Red Bull Renault Team Boss:  “Ultimately an extremely disappointing day.  Having been in control of the race, the second in succession, Sebastian unfortunately retired with what looks like a wheel related issue (front left), which certainly cost him a comfortable race win today.  It was cruel luck for him for the second year in a row here in Australia.”

Tony Fernandes – Lotus Racing Team Owner:  “I’m disappointed for Jarno, but Heikki did us proud – three places away from a point, and he was keeping pace with most of the other cars throughout the race.  Maybe it would have been nice if three other cars had gone out so we could get a point, but, joking aside, it is good that at this stage of the season we’re already thinking about points. We’re in a nice position for Malaysia.”



Gascoyne Really Proud Of Lotus Team

Mike Gascoyne, the technical chief at Lotus has said he is very proud of the new team following their first race in Bahrain yesterday.

The man who helped bring the Lotus name back to F1 said that his team had done exactly what it said it would, bring a near competitive car, with good drivers and that would be reliable.   Lotus were the only team who had both cars finish out of the new teams, indeed Hispania and Virgin had neither car finish.

While Jarno Trulli was suffering with technical issues, Heikki Kovalainen had no such problems and dived in to overtaking manouevres only being lapped once.

“As we said, it does what it says on the tin,” he told Autosport this morning.

“We said we would be a professional team, we would turn up, we would be ready and we would be reliable. Then we could work on the performance.

“I think actually in the race, the performance of our quickest lap was not too bad. A 2m02, while a lot of guys didn’t get below two minutes. Our pace wasn’t bad and we felt from all the running we had done actually that single lap was our problem, and we were better over longer runs. It was just good to get to the flag.”


Lotus Launch Their First New Car Since 1994 – The T127

Lotus Grand Prix Racing are back in Formula One after a 16 year absence.

The team, reformed by Malaysian business magnate Tony Fernandes, the owner of Air Asia, launched their car – the T127 – in a lavish ceremony in Central London just a couple of hours ago.

The new car is decked out in swathes of green and yellow which will be familiar to any followers of classic Grand Prix, back in the hey-day of drivers like Jim Clark.

Looking a little sponsorless, despite its beautiful livery money will not be an issue to the multi-millionaire Fernandes, who has a bet on that his team will be better than rival airline owner Richard Branson’s new Virgin team.

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be racing the car, a great pairing with plenty of experience for the team – with Fairuz Fauzy, the rated rookie as test driver.

“Words cannot express how I feel today,” said Fernandes. “It is an amazing job to get an F1 licence, have five people in Hingham and turn up today with this car.

“I was thrilled when Clive [Chapman] said that this was just like te beginning of Lotus back in the early days.”

He added: “We know we have a huge burden on our shoulers, standing on the shoulders of giants – Clark, Moss, Hill, and Mansell. We know we have a tremendous journey in front of us, we are honoured and cherished to be a part of history – we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts and we will do our best to return Lotus to its glory days.”

Mike Gascoyne, the former Toyota technical director was bouyant on the new car.

“The launch of the car is a very proud moment for the design team and the whole team,” said Gascoyne. “This one is very special for me personally for two reasons – firstly the Lotus name coming back into F1 is something very special.

“I grew up in Norfolk and went to school five miles down the road from the original factory. I grew up in era when Lotus was winning races and championships, so the opportunity to work with this team is very special. But also it is the challenge of bringing a new team and a new car into F1 in such a short space of time.

“What this is about for me, and it is the first launch I have been to where the whole team is here, there is a fantastic buzz about this place, the whole team has given their heart and soul to this project. I want to thank Tony on behalf of the whole team to have the courage to back us and trust us.

“We have a fantastic driver line-up who have put faith in the whole design team. I am proud to be up here on stage as a representative of that team, they have done a fantastic job.”

Meanwhile Italian driver Jarno Trulli said the whole event was very emotional.

“It is a very emotional moment for me – it will be great to take Lotus back on track where Lotus belongs and I think we have a big challenge, but it is what we are aiming for. I am really fired up for it,” he said.


Trulli and Kovalainen Confirmed At Lotus

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen have been confirmed as the Lotus F1 Team’s drivers for the forthcoming 2010 season.

The pair, both refugees from their former teams will join up with the newly formed, Malaysian backed team.

Trulli comes from Toyota who have left Formula One for good, and Kovalainen comes from the end of his contract at McLaren where he was replaced by current World Champion Jenson Button after some largely unimpressive seasons.

Fairuz Fauzy, a Malaysian driver will be the teams third driver.

“Trulli will bring us a lot of experience to develop the team. Heikki is a young driver with a lot of experience so I think we have fantastic drivers, with Fairuz as well. It is a wonderful mix of experience, youth and passion.”

Jarno Trulli will work with Mike Gascoyne again at Lotus, the third different team the Italian has worked with the British technical chief.

“I have been impressed by the long-term vision of the team management and technical staff,” Trulli said in a statement. “Tony has set out very ambitious plans and I am ready to help the team achieve these high targets.

“I am also pleased to be back working alongside Mike Gascoyne, someone with whom I have enjoyed previous success at other teams. I get on very well with him and I respect his working style.”

Kovalainen admitted he was very happy with the progress of the new team.

“I recently visited our factory and was so impressed by seeing how far the team has come in such a short time since it was launched in September, and by how determined everyone is to meet Tony’s ambitious targets.

“I knew immediately it would be a fantastic opportunity to help them achieve their goals.”

Trulli and Kovalainen have been on opposing teams for the past few seasons