Wet conditions in Jerez greeted Lotus Racing as the team arrived on track with Heikki Kovalainen taking over driving duties for Thursday and Friday. First out on track at exactly 9am, Heikki completed his installation lap and returned to the pits to give positive initial feedback to the team about his first drive in the Lotus Cosworth T127.
30 laps later and a small mistake saw the Finn leave the track, bringing the team’s day to an early close, but not before useful data had been accumulated and more insights into the car’s performance had given Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne reasons to be positive. “Unfortunately a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do today, but fortunately we’ve got spare parts arriving this evening. Up to that point we had got on top of some reliability issues from the previous day and the car was running very smoothly. Although we have lost some track time, the changing conditions made it very difficult, so we haven’t lost too much and we’ll be ready to continue with Heikki in the morning.”
Heikki added his thoughts, saying: “My initial feeling from the car is good – it fundamentally feels right. I’m disappointed the day came to an early end, but feel good about the team and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”
Team Principal Tony Fernandes made his first visit to the Jerez test to see the Lotus Racing team in action and left feeling very positive: “Still a great day in many ways. You get the highs and the lows and you get the reality but overall I’m happy. The team is very motivated, there’s a lot of good morale and, while it’s unfortunate Heikki went off, these things happen. Something else I’m very pleased with is the reaction from the public to Lotus Racing. We’re going out there to tell the world what we’re up to and, judging by the phenomenal Twitter response we have had, we have already made an impact on the fans.”
[press release from Lotus Racing]