Race day in Germany began with Lotus Racing Chief Mechanic Phil Spencer, Deputy Team Principal Kamarudin Meranun and Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat paying their respects to Team Lotus legend Jim Clark at his Hockenheim memorial, but it was a disappointing Sunday for the team after both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen recorded DNFs. Jarno Trulli had a strong start and was running 15th, but retired on lap four after a gearbox problem brought his race to an end. Heikki Kovalainen was running well in the race but was forced to retire on lap 60 after a coming together with de la Rosa’s Sauber.
Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) “I made a very good start and then suddenly I lost the gearbox and unfortunately that was it. We tried to reset it in the pit and I went out again but it didn’t work, so I think it was a mechanical issue with the box that brought the race to an early end. It’s very frustrating because I was having a very good weekend, probably the best of the whole season so far, and it’s like the luck just isn’t with me. We’ve got another chance next weekend so I hope the luck changes there.”
Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) “A disappointing end but it was just one of those things that can happen when you’re having to let cars past. It was my mistake but I didn’t see the Sauber coming. I thought I was letting the Williams past, and didn’t see the Sauber so I closed the door and that was the end of the race. It’s a shame because I was running pretty well until then.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Ultimately a very disappointing day. Jarno lost second gear and had to retire and Heikki had to retire after contact with de la Rosa. Both cars made good starts – we started Jarno on the harder tyre and Heikki on the options to split the strategies, but Jarno’s race was over before he’d really started. Heikki drove a strong race and was comfortably leading the battle of the new teams before contact forced him to retire. Despite this it was still a strong showing from us, and now we move on to Hungary.”
Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Team Principal: “It’s frustrating because we’d had a good weekend, in practice and qualifying. Very unfortunate for Jarno, and Heikki was doing well so it’s disappointing to see he couldn’t finish the race, not due to a mechanical issue, but because of an incident that was out of our control. So, even though it’s sad, we’ll pull through, and we’ll do a better job in Hungary.”
[press release from Lotus Racing]