Team Lotus enjoy productive day

By on Friday, February 4, 2011

Team Lotus stayed on an extra day in Valencia and enjoyed a productive day, carrying out some filming in the morning before doing some proper runs in the afternoon.

Regular drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were joined by Portuguese F2 & GP2 backmarker Ricardo Teixeira and Trulli posted a best time of 1.15.639s. Kovalainen and Trulli reckon the T128 is a big improvement on the T127.

“Valencia was an excellent test for me,” said Kovalainen. “Even though we had some issues with the power steering on the first couple of days you have to remember we weren’t even at the first two tests last year. Now we have a car that was ready to go with everyone else at the first test and to be able to run today without any problems is great.

“We have been able to start looking at the balance of the car in much more detail and I’ve had the same feeling that I did on day one – I think we have a good car for this year and as we continue to work on it here and at the other pre-season tests we can put some proper mileage on it without the reliability worries we had last year.

“On the car itself one of the most tangible improvements from last year is the lower centre of gravity we have this year. It’s a smaller chassis and we can place ballast under it much more effectively, which means the whole car feels balanced in a way we didn’t experience last year.

“Now, I can turn in without having to constantly correct oversteer or understeer and as the whole rear end has been designed with the Renault engine and Red Bull gearbox in mind, it is aerodynamically much more efficient. It’s basically a very good platform for us to develop, and to be able to feel that immediately is a very positive sign for me and the whole team for the season ahead.”

“It was a great day for the whole team,” said Trulli. “We completed 91 laps with basically no problems and we’ve been able to start to get a feel for the car which was really what this test was about. I agree with Heikki about the balance – it feels like we have a good car to work on in the next few tests and I think that we can pretty quickly get it to a point where it will give us a chance to fight with the teams ahead.

“The next test is only a few days away but I think there will be a lot more to come there in performance terms, and it will be good to get back in the car in Jerez and get more mileage under our belts.”

Technical director Mike Gascoyne added “An extremely productive day. It was good to get the power steering fixed and back on the car for today so well done to everyone at the factory for turning that around so quickly. We completed 91 laps today with no real problems and both drivers managed to get a good feel for the car and the tyres. We weren’t able to do any set up work – that will wait for Jerez, but it was an excellent day and we achieved the main goal of completing a decent mileage today.”

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