After an understandably slow start to the season, Lotus Racing appears to be discovering some added pace during testing prior to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix thanks to the Lotus Cosworth T127′s updated aerodynamics package. Jarno Trulli pumped in 26 practice laps and was 19th fastest during his second session, while Heikki Kovalainen completed 17 laps and ranked 18th during the first practice session.
After testing Trulli stated, “First day back in the car in Europe and I’m really happy with how we have progressed with the car. Obviously it’s still too early to assess it properly, but as soon as I got out on track I could feel that we had taken a major step forward. We have solved a number of the issues we had and we’re definitely in the right direction, so I’m really pleased for everyone in the team as they’ve put in a great effort to get us here. This afternoon we continued with the program and everything went really smoothly, on both the hard and the soft tyres. I must admit that I’ve been really pleased with the speed gain we’ve seen in the car and, again, that’s down to the work the team have put in with the car – all I need now is a little bit of luck, and a trouble free weekend!”
Kovalainen added, “I’ve been really looking forward to being back in Europe and particularly here in Barcelona. It’s been great to see the grandstands already busy, and I’ve seen a load of Finnish flags out there. On track, this morning was a really good session and I’m very encouraged by the updates – they’re immediately working like we’d hoped. The car feels better to drive, the high-speed stability especially is better, and that’s what you get when the aerodynamics of the car improve.”
Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne reported: “Basically it was a good day’s work. The drivers have been very happy with the updates and we’ve been making adjustment to the improvements on the cars throughout the day to help us fine tune the updates. There’s a fair bit more time to come from the new package, and everyone in the team has worked very hard to get us to this point, so it’s great to hear such positive feedback from the drivers. Now we’re looking forward to building on this performance tomorrow and seeing where we are in qualifying.”
Of course practice lap times don’t always reflect the true pace of the car in Formula 1, but it’s encouraging to see Lotus making progress and we look forward to seeing how the aero updates translate during qualifying and the race during this weekend’s Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica 2010. Meanwhile, for you Lotus fans out there, the video after the jump may help to get you pumped up before this weekend’s action.
[Source: Lotus Racing]