Lotus: A very good performance today

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday 27 August 2011.

Heikki Kovalainen

Aug.27 (Lotus) Team and drivers review their Belgian grand prix qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, round 12 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship.

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I think we can be very pleased with the performance today. That last lap in Q1 was as much as I could get out of the car and to get back into Q2 is obviously a great result for the whole team. We had the right plan for the conditions, put it into action on track and it paid off. I don’t think I could have got any more out of the package today, so finishing where we did goes down as objective achieved for today. It looks like it’ll be a dry race tomorrow, and I think the key for us is to make sure both cars finish. If we can do that, be there to take advantage of anything that happens, and leave Spa having got into Q2 and had a solid race, this will go down as a good weekend for us.”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-01: “Another good day for the team and congratulations for Heikki for getting back into Q2. For me it was looking pretty good until traffic pretty much ruined my second run, but the car felt good as the track was drying up and we were definitely on the right strategy for the conditions so it’s a shame we couldn’t make the most of it, but when everyone’s out like that trying to get times in you’re always going to have some issues with traffic, and it’s unlucky it hit my last run in Q1 today.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “From our perspective that goes down as a good day. Heikki drove very well in the conditions and to put his car into the second qualifying session was a good result for the whole team. It is a shame Jarno had traffic on his last run as he had a chance of getting into Q2 as well, but I think we achieved what we wanted to in both sessions so that is very satisfying.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “That was an exciting qualifying session for us! Obviously it was great for Heikki to get into Q2 and it was particularly impressive as he was held up in the last corner in Q1 so had more time to come from that lap. I think Jarno would have got into Q2 as well but he was held up on his last run but despite that we can be very satisfied with the effort of the whole team and now we are looking forward to a strong race tomorrow.”

Riad Asmat, Group CEO: “I am delighted with today’s performance from right across the whole team. We had worked this morning on turning the cars around quickly in the garage to take advantage of whatever the weather threw at us in qualifying and it paid dividends with a good use of strategy, some great driving and very solid teamwork to put Heikki into Q2. Jarno was on course to join him as well but suffered from traffic, so with the good reliability we have had all weekend, a very good performance today, now we want to put together the perfect weekend for us and have a clean, problem free Sunday.”