Lack of KERS prevents Lotus from getting closer

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuites

Team Lotus drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli will start the European GP in 19th and 20th positions respectively. They are where they expected to be, but the gap to the cars in front is a bit bigger. On the long straights the lack of KERS is showing clearly.

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20, Chassis T128-04:
“For me that was a pretty good performance. I found some more time on my second run and I definitely got as much as I could out of myself and the car, so even though the gap to the cars ahead isn't what we want it to be it's still satisfying to have delivered on that goal. We knew from the practice sessions that the time difference would be about what it turned out to be and despite the hard work put in right across the whole team we weren't able to close it up any more.”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21, Chassis T128-01:
“Traffic played a major role in my qualifying today. Everywhere I went it seemed as if there was someone right on the racing line, so to be honest I'm a bit disappointed. The car felt good and without the traffic I'm sure there was more pace in it, but even though we were all told not to back off in sector three there were other cars doing that and unfortunately that had a big influence on the times. However, now it's all about the race tomorrow and I think we can continue to show that the speed of the car in race trim is good. I want to make sure I have another good start and let's see what happens from there.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader:
“During FP3 we completed a good programme with Heikki. We had a small electrical issue with Jarno but that was quickly fixed and from our perspective that was a good session. One of the goals was to give the drivers the right engine maps to maximise performance in the slow speed corners and with the mileage we completed we were able to achieve that. In qualifying the result was not quite what we had hoped for but we definitely know where we have to improve the car and I am confident we are going in the right direction."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer:
“A reasonably good qualifying session for us. We are a little further down than we expected to be here, but we are well clear of the cars behind. Tomorrow will be a long hard race and the goal for us is to have a reliable two car finish and see what we can pick up.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal:
"I watched that session from Paris where I have had a very good week working on deals for AirAsia and Team Lotus. Ten years ago we started an airline with just $250,000 and two planes. Two days ago we completed the largest ever contract with Airbus worth $18 billion and won the title of World's Best Low-Cost Airline for the third consecutive year. After such a momentous week I then had the pleasure of watching Heikki put in yet another very strong drive, and had Jarno not spun on his final lap he would have been right up there with his teammate. With performances like that, and the hard work the whole team puts in every single day, I can't help but feel that AirAsia's history will eventually repeat itself with Team Lotus. I do love our little team."