Formula 1 – Team Lotus Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying Report

May 29, 2011

Formula 1

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “Before I talk about the sessions today I want to say that it’s good to hear that Sergio is conscious and talking. I’ve had a big accident myself and know what it’s like for the team, friends and family as you wait for news, so I hope he’s back on track soon.

“In quali it was quite a tricky session for me today, but I’m reasonably pleased with where I ended up. My first run didn’t really go to plan – I definitely didn’t get the best out of the tyres so I had to really go for it with the second set and that was definitely better, but not quite enough to get into Q2. But the gap to the cars ahead is pretty close and I think we’ll be ok tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “That was a bit unlucky for us. The car’s not been responding as I’d like all day and the tyres were behaving strangely – the first set was mega and the second set were really poor, so I’m not too sure where we’re going wrong. I know I could have gone much quicker on the second run with more rubber on the track but for some reason I was only marginally faster which is why we ended up where we did. Tomorrow in the race we’ll keep our heads down, run to our plan and see what happens around us. I’m sure there will be places to pick up so let’s wait and see. I also want to say that I hope Sergio is ok. That was a massive shunt and I hope we have more good news about him soon.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “During FP3 we worked more on the driveability of the engine which is the most important aspect of engine behaviour here. We had good feedback from the drivers who were both happy, especially in the slow speed corners where the engine is reacting in a good way but unfortunately in qualifying we were not able to get into Q2, but were pretty close. Both cars were very close to each other so we have clearly found a good, consistent setup, but I think we struggled a bit with the tyres and that is what has stopped us pushing into Q2 today. I also want to echo what the whole team has said about Sergio. I hope he’s ok and we have good news soon.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Firstly we obviously hope that Sergio Perez is in good shape following his accident. Our best wishes are with him and the whole Sauber team. For us that was a reasonably good qualifyign session. Jarno was reporting more grip than in the morning but he couldn’t get the most out of his second set of tyres, but overall we are close to the group in front and we look forward to a strong race tomorrow.”

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: “To begin with I want to say that I hope Sergio Perez recovers quickly. He had a big accident and the early news is that he’s taken a knock but is ok so that’s encouraging.

“On track I think we knew we would probably struggle to get into Q2 here as the performance difference between the tyre compounds doesn’t give us the same chance we had in Spain to play with the strategies. Despite that we have had a good, reliable weekend so far and the aim is definitely to have both cars cross the finish line tomorrow. We have obviously had a couple of pieces of good news so far this weekend so perhaps tomorrow will bring us something else to cheer.”   

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