The Singapore Grand Prix qualifying under the lights at the Marina Bay Circuit saw traffic play a big part in Q1, which ended with Lotus Racing drivers Heikki Kovalainen in 19th and Jarno Trulli 21st position.
Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) FP3: 15 laps, best time 1.53.146, 20th / QUALIFYING: 19th, 1.50.915, 9 laps “Qualifying today was quite difficult to be honest. The traffic made it really tricky as there were cars on slow laps when I was on a quick one, and I think I missed my best opportunity on the second set of tyres which were brand new. I gave it my best shot, and I think the last lap was about as good as I could have done today, so at least I split the Virgins and got pretty close to Timo. It’s still game on for tomorrow, and I think we’re in good shape for the race, so we’ll see what happens.”
Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) FP3: 17 laps, best time 1.53.681, 22nd / QUALIFYING: 21st, 1.51.641, 10 laps “I’m pretty disappointed with how it went tonight. This morning’s practice was pretty good but on the first run in qualifying on the options I couldn’t find any real grip so I switched to the primes. I think I got the most out of the car I could by the end of Q1 - braking obviously plays a big role here, and I’ve been struggling with the rear end locking all weekend, so I hope it improves tomorrow.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A pretty disappointing qualifying session today. Jarno has not been happy with the balance on the tyres all weekend and that carried through to qualifying. Heikki was generally happier on the option tyre but unfortunately he was held up on what would have been his quickest lap. Despite that I think the race pace of the car is strong and we look forward to a better performance in the race tomorrow.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I don’t think we got the best out the car today, but it is what it is. Honestly, I’m reasonably happy, as I thought we might not have been quite as close to Timo as we ended up – he goes very well here and I think that if the traffic hadn’t played its part Heikki might have been able to get past him. As development on this year’s car stopped back in July and we put our resources into the 2011 car, we always knew the competition would become closer as the season drew to an end, with our closest rivals continuing to bring upgrades to each race. With that in mind, the fact that Heikki is as close as he is to Timo means we can not be too disappointed. Jarno also did a good job today, after a tricky weekend for him on a track he does not favour, and they are both pumped up to fight tomorrow, so there’s all to play for in the race.”