Team Lotus had a terrible race after quite a promising qualifying session yesterday. In fact the race was over after just 10 laps. Heikki retired due to a gearbox problem after a few laps while Jarno was forced to abandon with an engine oil leak.
Jarno Trulli, Car 21, Chassis T128-01:
“I had a decent start and was getting set to pass Timo but then had the call to stop the car to prevent any damage to the engine because of an oil leak. It’s obviously not how we wanted the race to go but our reliability record has improved dramatically this season and this is just one of those blips. I’m sure we’ll bounce back at the Nurburgring where we may well have similar weather conditions, so we’ll move on and make sure we learn the lessons from this weekend.”
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20, Chassis T128-04:
“What a shame! I had a really good start but then lost fourth gear and had to retire the car. The conditions out there were exactly what they should be for real drivers - a mix of two types of circuit, one wet, one dry, exactly what I love racing in and the type of race we could have taken advantage of. But these things happen so we'll move on to Germany and keep on pushing.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader:
“After the excellent result we had in qualifying yesterday we were unfortunately unable translate that into a result today because of the mechanical issues we had on both cars. We were not lucky today and that meant it was a short race for us on both sides of the garage. However, I am sure we will find a solution for the problems and make sure we get both cars across the finish line at the next race."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer:
“That is obviously a disappointing end to what had been a very encouraging weekend for the team. It looks like Heikki suffered an electrical problem on his gearbox which caused him to lose fourth gear so we had to pull him in and retire him. It was definitely not a problem with the gearbox itself so we need to take a close look at what went wrong on our side and make sure it does not happen again. On Jarno’s car we instructed him to stop as he had an oil leak and lost pressure so we had to end his race early to ensure we did not damage the engine. Sometimes races end like this but we have been working very hard to minimise these sorts of problems, so we will regroup and come back stronger in Germany at the next race.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal:
"That is such a shame. This weekend held huge promise for us after we had performed well on Friday, and especially well on Saturday, and in conditions like these we know both our drivers have the talent and experience to take whatever opportunities present themselves. We have worked very hard on improving the reliability of the cars throughout the season but you can never account for everything that might happen and unfortunately this just turned out to be one of those races that we have to move on from. Despite that, the whole weekend has been very encouraging, particularly for me seeing the huge support we have in the stands where there is a growing legion of fans wearing green and yellow, so now we will do our best to give them something to cheer for in Germany and Hungary before we head into the summer break.”