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F1 NEWS 

Lotus happy to get troublefree running

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, China 2011, ThursdayLotus drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen hailed their troublefree free practice as the perfect spring board to a better performance through the rest of the Chinese Grand Prix.

The team has suffered various reliability niggles in the first two races of the season, and while test driver Luiz Razia damaged the suspension of Trulli's car during his run in the morning, both race drivers went on to complete their programmes for the day.

"It's good to get through the whole day with no reliability issues and hopefully that sets us up well for the weekend ahead," said Kovalainen. "The car had a good balance this morning but this afternoon the changes we made maybe didn't take us in the right direction so I wasn't quite as comfortable in FP2.

"I had a few issues with traffic on my performance run which meant I couldn't get everything out of it but having had a clear day we'll put in the work tonight as see where we are tomorrow."

Technical chief Mike Gascoyne added that he was aiming for both drivers to shoot for Q2 during qualifying.

"That was a far more productive Friday than we have had in the two previous races this season and I think it is a measure of our increased competitiveness that we are actually a little disappointed with the overall pace," he said. "We ran Luiz Razia this morning and he did a good job for the team, despite having a suspension problem that brought his run to a premature end.

"With the race drivers we completed the full programme on each car but traffic interrupted both their runs on the soft tyres so we are a little disappointed that we were not able to show more pace that we know is in the cars.

"The tyres are working pretty well here - we have found our way around the warm up issues, so while today is satisfying in terms of reliability, there is definitely more to come tomorrow and we want to be pushing towards Q2."

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