Lotus Racing enjoyed an excellent day in the heat of the Hungarian Grand Prix with Heikki Kovalainen finishing 14th and Jarno Trulli just behind in 15th. A very exciting race, full of incidents throughout the grid, saw the Anglo / Malaysian squad firmly consolidate their position at the top of the new team chart, sending the team into the summer break full of confidence for the challenges that lay ahead when the Championship reconvenes in late August.
Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) 14th, fastest lap 1.27.457 – lap 64, 1 stop – lap 15: “A great day for the team, and a great job from everyone to get us home in 14th and 15th. I think that was the maximum we could have hoped for, so we’re all really pleased. Despite starting behind Timo we were confident we could overtake him, and that’s how it panned out. My own race was fairly straightforward. I dropped a few places at the start but when the safety car came in I was brought straight in to pit and it worked out well as I jumped a couple of guys ahead. From then I was controlling my pace to the end, and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. We head into the break very satisfied with how we performed today, and that’s great for the whole team.”
Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) 15th, fastest lap 1.27.429 – lap 58, 1 stop – lap 20: “It’s a great day for the team. All weekend I’ve been strong, and today’s two car finish shows how hard the team’s been working. I made a very good start and managed to gain three places, and once I got ahead of Timo it was pretty comfortable staying in front. I lost out to Heikki in the strategy call during the safety car period, but that was in the best interests of the team, and as we are again ahead of our nearest rivals, we’ve achieved what we set out to today.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “An excellent two car finish and once again we’re the best of the new teams. Both drivers drove strong races and Jarno had a particularly good start. Once the safety car came out we made a strategy call to keep Jarno out as we knew it would be a short period behind the safety car and this was the right strategy for the team. Unfortunately this meant Jarno lost a place to his teammate, so apologies to him, but we got the call right for the team. Heikki drove a good strong race to the end. He was bottled up behind Di Grassi at the start, but once he’d got past he was very comfortable running to the flag. All in all a really good result, and a very good day for the team.”
Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Team Principal: “It was a very exciting race and moments like this are the ones you want to cherish. We made a very good decision with Heikki when the safety car came out, and both he and Jarno drove really well to keep their positions to the end. It’s a great day for the team, and I’ve just given Tony a challenge – let’s see you beat that next time you’re on the pitwall!”
[press release from Lotus Racing]