Round 18 of the FIA Formula One™ World Championship sees the pack head to Brazil for the only South American leg of the season and one of the sport’s classic venues; Sao Paulo. The punishing end-of-season calendar sees the Brazilian Grand Prix race back to back with the season-ending event in Abu Dhabi, but before heading to the Middle-East Lotus Racing is looking to take another step closer to securing its place as the best of the 2010 new teams at the technical Brazilian circuit.
Heikki Kovalainen: “We had another good result in Korea and we’ll be looking to carry that form through to Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The Sao Paulo circuit is a good challenge. There’s quite a few overtaking points, and a few different lines into some of the corners so you’ll see people attacking each other throughout the whole lap, and particularly at turn one. At the start of the race that corner is pretty critical and there’s always a few guys taking different lines through there. Some go high, some low, but the main thing to think about is that when there are five cars going through there together you’ve just got to do whatever you can to make sure you fit through the gaps and come out unscathed.
“It’s a pretty hardcore end to the season and I’ll make sure I’m properly prepared by resting a bit and then I’ll do enough training to adjust to the time changes, flight times and the races themselves. To be honest, it’s easier for me than it is for many other people in the team. The last couple of races require a massive push from everyone to setup the garages, go racing and then pack up everything and relocate to Abu Dhabi. By the end of the season we will have all earned some time off, but we have to make sure we stay focused on securing tenth place, and for the next couple of races that’s what it’s all about.”
Jarno Trulli: “I’m heading to the USA for a few days to try and acclimatise to the time change, relax and do a bit of training in preparation for the last two races. Brazil is a good circuit to drive on, it’s one of my favourite tracks. I’ve always enjoyed myself there and the atmosphere is great, but it’s not a place where I’ve had a great deal of luck in the races, so hopefully that will change this year. The start is crucial, but if you can get through that without any problems, the rest of the lap is pretty rewarding. There’s none of the long straight / first gear hairpins that you have on quite a few of the modern tracks, so you can get into a good rhythm and really lean on the car into the corners. My best result there was fourth in 2000, and while I know repeating that is obviously unlikely, our goal will be to get both cars across the finish line and go to Abu Dhabi still as the best of the new teams.”
Mike Gascoyne: “Korea was another good result for us and now we are looking to take that performance through to Brazil. We have two races left this year, and while it will be a pretty tough two weeks for the whole team, it is the same for everyone in the pitlane and we have the experience and the determination to make sure we are in the right position to capitalise on whatever opportunities arise on track. It has been very satisfying this season to see that we have taken full advantage of all the races where there have been a high number of incidents, like Japan and Korea, and that is down to good people working effectively on the pitwall, in the garages and in the cars, and we will make sure we do not let that slip in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.”
Tony Fernandes: “I left Korea on an absolute high. It was an amazing race and it was crucial that we took advantage of the high attrition rate to finish as high as we did. Jarno had put in a very strong performance on Friday and Saturday, particularly in qualifying where he put in a great lap to beat Timo, but his run of bad luck struck again in the race and he did not have the chance to show what he could do. Heikki had an eventful race, and performed brilliantly to take 13th place, and performances like that, and from the whole team all weekend, have helped us consolidate our position as best of the new teams throughout the season.
“Unfortunately I will not be in Brazil, but I will be watching every second of the race weekend from home. With Abu Dhabi straight afterwards, and a long journey between the two, it will be a hard couple of weeks for everyone in the team, but they are all determined to keep up their concentration levels and workrate to make sure we finish the season on a high. Throughout the year I have seen what a talented, dedicated team we have in Lotus Racing, and that gives me the confidence to know we are in the best possible position to achieve our goals in 2010, and give us the platform to take a step up next year and in seasons beyond.”
[press release from Lotus Racing]