Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2011

Lotus: Beating a Renault “icing on cake” for Fernandes

2011 Brazilian GP team review

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Tony Fernandes wasn’t just happy with Lotus’s championship result.

Heikki Kovalainen Jarno Trulli
Qualifying position 19 20
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’15.068 (-0.29) 1’15.358
Race position 16 18
Laps 69/71 69/71
Pit stops 3 2

Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Heikki Kovalainen 91.389 82.552 82.181 81.678 80.776 80.704 80.563 80.73 80.465 80.692 80.432 80.567 80.463 80.446 80.252 80.568 85.189 97.428 80.073 79.595 79.488 79.598 79.631 79.457 79.287 79.502 79.488 79.732 79.792 81.777 83.074 95.274 78.802 78.515 82.5 80.194 79.161 79.017 78.651 78.803 79.001 78.723 78.677 78.446 78.766 79.399 78.99 78.929 83.475 94.26 80.19 80.366 79.23 78.623 79.832 79.533 78.984 81.104 78.66 79.652 78.287 79.541 78.452 79.328 78.952 80.611 81.459 78.514 78.023
Jarno Trulli 92.938 83.327 81.768 81.635 81.36 81.165 81.216 80.941 80.91 81.553 80.744 80.443 81.605 80.945 80.79 80.412 80.545 80.459 80.539 81.32 81.483 86.242 99.029 80.391 80.508 83.794 80.475 79.745 80.033 79.918 79.655 80.612 82.551 80.411 80.124 80.165 80.435 81.165 81.308 80.33 80.423 83.623 97.358 81.36 79.192 80.411 78.596 83.167 79.401 84.253 79.353 78.994 78.87 78.967 80.183 80.429 79.26 79.47 80.351 79.338 79.12 79.272 79.432 82.099 79.777 80.156 79.711 79.392 79.444

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2011
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.854s
Pit stop 2 Soft 22.013s
Pit stop 3 Medium 21.478s

Lotus’s much-vaunted new rear wing did not provide the leap forward the team were hoping for. Kovalainen was the faster of the two drivers in qualifying as usual, four-tenths of a second off Pastor Maldonado and six-tenths off reaching Q2.

Kovalainen had a straightforward run to 16th, ahead of the delayed Bruno Senna, which guaranteed tenth in the championship for Lotus. It earns them a financial windfall of several million pounds.

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “Two years of hard work have paid off today and it was great to see both cars home safely, helping us win tenth place.”

Fernandes revealed that, despite the settling of the naming row with rivals Renault, he still takes particular satisfaction from beating them: “The icing on the cake was beating a Renault ?ǣ that meant a lot to me as I have always said the good guys do win. We have a fantastic little team here.”

Fernandes added: “Now we look forward to our new life as Caterham F1 Team and we say goodbye to Team Lotus. Colin [Chapman] – we hope we did you proud and we hope you keep an eye over us as Caterham F1 Team. We know we will do you proud there as well.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2011 form guide

Jarno Trulli

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.616s
Pit stop 2 Medium 21.555s

Trulli’s weekend was clouded by rumours that, despite his contract for 2012, he could yet be pushed aside for another driver, possibly Red Bull-backed Daniel Ricciardo.

He did little to dissipate the speculation with another indifferent performance. He was out-qualified by Kovalainen for the 16th time and finished almost 40 seconds behind his team mate.

Luiz Razia

Drove Jarno Trulli’s car in first practice.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Team Lotus

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Lotus: Beating a Renault “icing on cake” for Fernandes”

  1. I noticed during qualifying that on more than one occassion Trulli and Kovalainen were both quick enough to get into Q2 after the second sector but then lost about 3 or 4 tenths down the home straight. I’m guessing this is down to KERS or lack of top speed. Once they get KERS next year I hope that Lotus can challenge the midfield teams, finally!

    1. @Smifaye Yep, the drivers with KERS were using half or more of it at the exit of Juncao to get them up the hill.

  2. For me, HK has been the 5th best driver this year!

  3. I think that next year Caterham will be able to beat Lotus more often than Lotus was able to defeat Renault in 2011.

    With all due respect to Jarno, I think his time in F1 is up. Please sign Ricciardo Tony, both Heikki and Daniel need a strong driver to measure themselves against.

  4. Wish Fernandes would give it a rest now. It’s not like all the guys in the garage putting in the hard work are responsible for the name row.

  5. I really do have high hopes for Caterham next season. Say what you want about their first two seasons (and Tony Fernandes), but they have done a very solid job and have been by far the most professional of the new teams, regularly giving the tail end of the midfield something to think about this year. With the improvements that are bound to come when the new car is launched, and finally having KERS, it won’t be long before they score points.

    Heikki and Jarno have been polar opposites this season. Heikki has been epic. Getting every drop of performance out of the T128, keeping a smile on his face and while absolutely hammering Trulli in qualifying and the races. If he isn’t back on the big teams radars there is something wrong with the world. Jarno on the other hand has been hopeless. Constantly complaining while looking completely disinterested from the first to the last race. Me thinks it is time for you to focus on grapes rather than grip old bean.

    1. @geeMac I reckon Heiki is a solid driver but your quote “big teams radars there is something wrong with the world” I tend to disagree with. He had his fair chances in McLaren but didn’t squeezed out the maximum. There are more deserving candidate (Sutil, Koba) for the bigger teams.
      And we are comparing his performance with certainly lackluster Trulli, his performance was so poor that even we don’t know whether Heiki extracted most out of the car .

      1. Hmm, not so sure I agree on Sutil, Kobayashi maybe.

        The point I was trying to make re Trulli vs Heikki was that at least Heikki looked like he was trying to improve. Trulli has spent the last 2 years tootling round at the back with seemingly no desire to push the tem forward.

        1. if anything glock deserves a decent drive over kobayashi. His later performances for toyota were great and he was still relatively new…. I think he could really do great things with a good car.

  6. that’d be a brilliant move, come on Tony! replace Trulli with Ricciardo!

    1. Curious. Honestly I have also become of the idea that Trulli’s passed his best.

  7. Performance of the last race was very impressive. as they said, they could challenge to get into Q2 with their own performance. well, it never happened though they were very close. with KERS and better aero, they should be serious threat to established teams!

  8. Trulli needs to go, would love to see Ricciardo there.

  9. As said above, I can’t wait to see these guys with KERS. If they continue to develop next season as they have this season then they will have little trouble causing headaches for the guys ahead.

  10. If I have one optimistic thought about Sky coming in it’s that they might do more for the support and feeder series, in MotoGP if you see the end of your premier series career then you can still get a drive and perform for your fans in Moto2 or WSB.. It would be nice to know that as well as the 24 seats in F1 people like D’Ambrosio, Trulli, The STR boys etc etc could confidently take a GP3 drive knowing a return to F1 in 2013 doesn’t rely on ‘doing a Hulkenburg’

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