Chandhok confident of closing the gap to team-mate Kovalainen

Karun Chandhok is confident of closing the 1.5-second gap to Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen before qualifying after his first full day of driving for the team

Chandhok confident of closing the gap to team-mate Kovalainen

Chandhok, who had participated in four free practice sessions so far this season before being promoted from his reserve driver role to replace Jarno Trulli on a one-off basis, ended Friday 1.495s off the Finn.

But while he has ruled out any chance of outqualifying Kovalainen because of his lack of running, the F1 returnee is expecting to make further improvements on Saturday.

"This weekend is all about making progress," said Chandhok. "I was some way away from Heikki this morning, but there were reasons for that because we weren't even chasing a laptime.

"This afternoon, we got going a bit more. Every time i get in the car, I make progress, which is important.

"Now we are 1.5s off. If I put the two laps together there was another half-a-second in there, although I'm sure everybody could say that. The main thing is that we are getting closer. If we were lost and I didn't know where the time was, then I would be worried. But I can see specific areas where we have to work together to improve.

"It's very hard to set targets when you come in in a situation like this. I know that there's no way I'm going to outqualify Heikki given the lack of mileage. If I can outqualify the Virgins and HRTs, I think I will have done quite well this weekend having been thrown straight into it."

The main areas of focus for Chandhok were adapting to the new Pirelli tyres, having had very limited running on the new-for-2011 rubber, and getting the best out of the brakes.

He admitted to struggling in the slower corners, but was happy with his performance in the fast corners, which was closer to Kovalainen's pace.

"I discovered today that the Pirelli tyres are very different to what I drove last year," said Chandhok. "And the material that we use for the brakes is a lot different to what we had at HRT. That's where I need to make progress.

"Between this morning and this afternoon, the time we found mostly came from the brakes. It's just a process of learning how the brakes and tyres react.

"The team has been fantastic and the engineers have been really good with me and very patient. It's a tough situation for them having a different driver straight into the car having not tested."

shares
comments
Germany Friday quotes: Ferrari

Previous article

Germany Friday quotes: Ferrari

Next article

Germany Friday quotes: Renault

Germany Friday quotes: Renault
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021