Bittersweet race for Lotus drivers
25 September 2011 – The Singapore Grand Prix was a race of mixed emotions for Team Lotus, with Heikki Kovalainen impressively defending 16th position from the Renault of Vitaly Petrov whereas team-mate Jarno Trulli retired after contact with Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso.
“I’m really pleased with the performance today and we should all be happy as it was a great race from the whole team,” Finn Kovalainen began. “The pit-stop strategy worked out well for us and the boys worked brilliantly to get me out quickly each time, helping me make sure I could stay ahead of Petrov at each stop.
“The car felt balanced throughout the whole race and the tyres worked well, so I was able to pull away from Petrov and ended up finishing strongly in 16th. It’s also good that the upgrade we’ve brought here has helped us take a small step forward and I think we’ll see more from that at Suzuka, where it will come more into its own.”
Trulli was seen pulling off the circuit with a gearbox problem, although Jaime Alguersuari was handed a drive-through penalty after contact with the Italian.
“I had another really good start and was ahead of both Renaults and the Toro Rosso,” Trulli recalled. “They were pushing me but the car felt great and I was able to keep ahead of them pretty comfortably, coming out of the first stop still ahead and feeling good on the second set of tyres. Then Jaime hit my left-rear and I had to come in, which was pretty disappointing.”