Formula 1 News

Team LOTUS shares their views ahead of the European GP

The consensus within the team is that a new unproven tyre compound, the medium (prime), will dictate most of the action.
Monday, June 20, 2011

Jarno Trulli:
“Now, it’s Valencia. It’s another temporary circuit and a good challenge for the drivers whilst also being very safe. In contrast to Canada the track surface in Valencia has strong evolution over the weekend - It starts out dusty on Friday but by Sunday there is a lot of grip and the lap times come down all weekend. It’s a track where you need to find a rhythm. Sections of it flow but then you have other areas that are very much stop and go – long straights with hard braking at the end into tight corners. First gear is used a lot more here than most tracks and often at the end of a flat out straight so the brake wear is high. I’m looking forward to it – the Spanish fans are some of the most passionate in the world and they’ve taken Team Lotus to their hearts so I think it will be a good weekend for us all round.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“After New York I went home for a few days before the trip to Valencia. I’m looking forward to the European GP as I think the heat and the demands of the circuit should suit our car well. It’s not exactly a street circuit; it’s a semi-street circuit with a very smooth track surface with almost no bumps and low kerbs. It has long straights and a number of tight corners that means finding the right downforce level is critical to maximizing performance. Pirelli is bringing the softs (option) and the mediums (prime) which we haven’t raced yet this season so I think we will have some work to do on Friday to look at how to get the most out of them. We’ve been easy on the tyres all season so hopefully that will be the case again in Valencia, giving us strategic options that we’ve used well all season – Q2 is still the goal for qualifying and then let’s see what happens on Sunday.”

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director
“Now it is back to Spain and the European Grand Prix. In terms of downforce levels Valencia is unlike most of the other tracks in the calendar – we run more wing than in Canada for example, but less than a number of the other tracks like Barcelona or Turkey. The prime tyre here is the medium which we are racing for the first time this season. We ran it in on Friday in Canada and it behaved pretty well but as degradation can be reasonably high on Fridays in Valencia, due to the amount of dust and sand on track, we will be looking closely at how it performs and how we can take advantage of the time difference between the primes and the options on Saturday and Sunday.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal
“Now our attention turns to Valencia. This is our sixth trip to Spain this year and a venue I particularly enjoyed in 2010. Valencia is similar to Montreal and Monaco in the way Formula 1 is embraced across the whole city and that level of support creates a fabulous atmosphere, on and off track. On track the goals are clear – repeat the qualifying performance from Canada and keep up our much improved reliability record to bring both cars home on Sunday. It would also be good if the other drivers on the grid could avoid using either of our cars as launch ramps this year…..”

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