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Lotus leave Valencia in positive mood 04 Feb 2011

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus with Tony Fernandes (MAL) Team Lotus GP Team Principal and the new Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Valencia, Spain, Thursday, 3 February 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Valencia, Spain, Thursday, 3 February 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 (Interim Car).
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Valencia, Spain, Thursday, 3 February 2011

With their 11 rivals wrapping up their test sessions on Thursday, Lotus had the Valencia track all to themselves on Friday. The team, who arrived in Spain a day later than the rest, managed to cover 810 kilometres, with race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, and rookie tester Ricardo Teixeira all spending time at the wheel.

After a frustrating Thursday, which saw Trulli cover just 38 laps due to a lack of power steering, the team were grateful to rack up so much mileage in their new T128.

"An extremely productive day,” said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “It was good to get the power steering fixed and back on the car for today so well done to everyone at the factory for turning that around so quickly. We completed 91 laps today with no real problems and both drivers managed to get a good feel for the car and the tyres. We weren’t able to do any set up work - that will wait for Jerez, but it was an excellent day and we achieved the main goal of completing a decent mileage today.”

In the morning the team completed some promotional filming runs, with Formula Two driver Teixeira in the cockpit. The 26 year-old was thrilled to be given the opportunity, saying: ““I want to thank Team Lotus for giving me the chance to drive the T128 today. I am really pleased I could help out with the filming this morning and after my first taste of an F1 car I can't wait to have another go.”

Filming completed, the team’s serious work began with Kovalainen carrying out five runs of system checks. “Valencia was an excellent test for me,” he said. “Even though we had some issues with the power steering on the first couple of days you have to remember we weren’t even at the first two tests last year.

“We have been able to start looking at the balance of the car in much more detail and I’ve had the same feeling that I did on day one - I think we have a good car for this year and as we continue to work on it here and at the other pre-season tests we can put some proper mileage on it without the reliability worries we had last year.

“Now, I can turn in without having to constantly correct oversteer or understeer and as the whole rear end has been designed with the Renault engine and Red Bull gearbox in mind, it is aerodynamically much more efficient. It’s basically a very good platform for us to develop, and to be able to feel that immediately is a very positive sign for me and the whole team for the season ahead.”

After another run for Teixeira, Trulli took charge of the T128. The Italian ran 38 laps. “It was a great day for the whole team,” he said. “We completed 91 laps with basically no problems and we’ve been able to start to get a feel for the car which was really what this test was about.

"I agree with Heikki about the balance - it feels like we have a good car to work on in the next few tests and I think that we can pretty quickly get it to a point where it will give us a chance to fight with the teams ahead. The next test is only a few days away but I think there will be a lot more to come there in performance terms, and it will be good to get back in the car in Jerez and get more mileage under our belts.”

Lotus will resume testing alongside their rivals at the Spanish circuit of Jerez from February 10-13.

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