An historic race in Korea came to an end in the dark with Lotus Racing’s Heikki Kovalainen taking advantage of an incident packed race to finish in 13th place. Team mate Jarno Trulli’s race again came to an early conclusion with hydraulic issues on lap 25, but the team now head to Brazil still at the head of the new teams after some excellent work on and off track all weekend.
Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-03) 13th, fastest lap 1.55.018 – lap 43: “It was another excellent result for the team today. In tricky conditions like that with people making mistakes, we could have seen our tenth position under threat, but we were there at the end and that is what counts. I really enjoyed the race, and didn’t really have any problems that we couldn’t deal with – the team made the right calls throughout and that put us in a strong position at the end of the race. It was obviously pretty dark when we finished, but that was the same for everyone. Now we head to Brazil and we have two more races to secure our place as the best of the new teams this year.”
Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-02) DNF, fastest lap 2.05.161 – lap 20: “It was a disappointing day but I’m pleased that the team has taken another step towards tenth. I felt that there was a possible hydraulics problem when we were behind the safety car as the power steering was starting to feel very heavy. I really struggled to turn in at the first corner and had a spin, and despite the team trying to get me back out it was all over.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “First of all it was great that we could go racing and give all the Korean fans and everyone who has put so much effort into making this race happen the show they wanted to see. They were rewarded with an historic event, with the race finishing in the dark and some excellent action up and down the field. For us it was a day of mixed fortunes – a great finish once again as best of the new teams and Heikki drove a great race in the very tricky conditions, but disappointing for Jarno that he suffered another hydraulic issue that brought his race to an early end. But overall a great weekend for us. We qualified and finished as best of the new teams and maintained our tenth place, which was always our main goal.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “That was extremely tense for me. Of all the 17 races we have had this season, that was by far the most nerve wracking, and I feel like I was put through the ringer throughout the whole afternoon. Today shows the true mettle of this team. Heikki drove a fantastic race, and even though he also had a possible hydraulic issue with about 20 laps to go, he battled through that, and a superb performance from the race team kept him out there to make sure he was on track at the end of the race to take 13th. We are edging ever closer to that tenth place, and even though Jarno suffered more hydraulic problems, we have taken steps to change that for next year, and it is experiences like today that will stand us in good stead for next season and beyond.”
[press release from Lotus Racing]