Friday’s practice sessions at the Istanbul Park Circuit saw Lotus Racing continue to pull away from the new teams and closer to the midfield, fulfilling the promise shown in the updates applied since Barcelona. The new pillar mounted rear wing, and a number of new mechanical and aero updates combined to bridge the gap to Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso to around 0.7 seconds.
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01 / FP1: 24 laps, 19th, 1.32.161 / FP2: 36 laps, 19th, 1.31.160): “It was a very good Friday again for me. I had a really good first session this morning, with no problems with the car and we were again able to improve the setup. The track felt good all day, a little dusty to begin with, but it cleared quickly and overall it felt great all day. This afternoon we were able to try both tyre compounds and successfully got through all our plans, so I couldn’t really ask for more.”
Jody Egginton, Chief Race Engineer (deputising as Heikki’s Race Engineer for Juan Pablo Ramirez): “We had a good balance from the start of the day on Heikki’s car, which meant we could complete the entire program. We gathered a lot of data, particularly on the long run, and managed to get good performance from the new tyres, so I’m very happy. On a personal level I enjoyed my day today – it was all quite short notice, but it was good to dust off the old clipboard and get on with it, so overall it’s been a good day!”
Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03 / FP1: 23 laps, 20th, 1.32.990 / FP2: 11 laps, 21st, 133.081): “A bit more bad luck for me today as this afternoon’s session was cut short by losing third gear. We’d planned to do some setup work in the second session, and didn’t get the chance to do so, but against that you can look at the times and see that we have continued to move forward overall with the car. We are moving away from the other new teams, and closer to those in front – obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s pleasing to see we are going in the right direction.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A fairly positive day, although it was a shame Jarno’s day was curtailed by a gearbox problem in P2. That meant he couldn’t run the soft tyres, or try a low fuel run, but I’m sure that if he’d done so he would have been up with Heikki. Heikki had another trouble free day, and overall we’ve taken another step forward to the midfield, so now it’s up to us to confirm that progress tomorrow.”