Lotus pledges to learn from Canada
|By Matt Beer||Monday, June 20th 2011, 13:41 GMT|
Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes says the squad must learn from the Montreal mistakes that saw it squander a chance to snatch an upset result in the mixed conditions a week ago.
Although wet weather often allows underdog teams a chance to shine, rather than attacking those in front, Lotus found itself behind Hispania and Virgin at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix, following strategic misjudgements, an errant pitstop by Heikki Kovalainen, and problems with both cars. Kovalainen ultimately had to retire, while Jarno Trulli came home 16th.
Fernandes was encouraged that his cars got within half a second of Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso in qualifying, but said Lotus could not afford to let opportunities slip away in similarly crazy races in the future.
"The Canada weekend was definitely one of highs and lows," he said. "Our performance in qualifying was especially pleasing and the aim is to build on that again in Valencia and throughout the season, but the race was obviously a missed opportunity.
"It is important that we learn from that experience, cut out the same mistakes again and make sure we are in the right place to take advantage of such extraordinary circumstances in the future. It is all part of the learning curve and you have to have the lows to truly appreciate the highs."
He said the aim for Valencia this weekend was to continue making progress in qualifying and get both cars to the finish. Last year the European Grand Prix was the scene of the famous accident between Kovalainen and Mark Webber which saw the Red Bull fly over the back of the Lotus.
"On track the goals are clear - repeat the qualifying performance from Canada and keep up our much improved reliability record to bring both cars home on Sunday," said Fernandes.
"It would also be good if the other drivers on the grid could avoid using either of our cars as launch ramps this year..."
Kovalainen added that his initial ambition for the weekend was to get into Q2 again, and then try to use strategy wisely in the race.
"We've been easy on the tyres all season so hopefully that will be the case again in Valencia, giving us strategic options that we've used well all season - Q2 is still the goal for qualifying and then let's see what happens on Sunday," he said.