Sun: Lotus, Wiliams, Virgin, HRT

Date published: October 30 2011

Heikki Kovalainen bagged a solid P14 for Team Lotus but it was not a great showing in India from Williams…

Heikki Kovalainen bagged a solid P14 for Team Lotus but it was not a great showing in India from Williams…

Team Lotus:
Heikki Kovalainen: “I had another good start, maybe not quite up there with the last two races, but avoided the problems in turn 1 and 3 and from there I had a really strong race. At one point I was running 10th and the car felt great all afternoon. I was still in it after the first stops and as the fuel level dropped I was able to keep pace with Senna ahead, and keep a gap to the cars behind, but when I went onto the hards it was much harder to keep up the pace. I was also seriously held up by the HRTs when they had blue flags shown to them. I think they held up Lewis as well and they definitely cost me quite a lot of time. I probably wouldn’t have finished any higher, even without them holding me up, but when we’re pushing as hard as we are, and fighting with midfield cars, it’s a good feeling, for me and the whole team.”

Jarno Trulli: “The bad luck struck again. I had a pretty good start but then one of the HRT’s hit me from behind as we came out of turn three and that was basically the end of my race. I had a puncture and had to do almost a full lap to get me back to the pit, so from that position there wasn’t anything I could do. I think the car suffered some damage to the floor when I was hit as the balance had completely gone for the rest of the race and I just couldn’t put any decent times in. Despite that this has been another good weekend for the team. Our reliabilifty has been strong, Heikki’s pace in the race was good so I just hope I have better luck in the last two races and help make sure we secure tenth in this year’s championship.”

Williams:
Rubens Barrichello: “I lost my nose going into the first corner at the start so I had to come in for an unscheduled pitstop. That ruined my race from the outset because I came out of the pits so far behind. After that, we had to change our strategy to a one stop to avoid losing more time. We dragged it back a little bit, but not enough to score points. It’s a shame because our times were strong and tyre degradation was ok so we could have done better.”

Pastor Maldonado: “We had a problem with the gearbox today, but we don’t know the exact cause yet so we need to have a look into it. My pace was looking good before that and the tyres were working well. Just bad luck. We need to look forward to the last two races now.”

Virgin:
Jerome D’Ambrosio: “In the end we did what we had to. The team did a great job with the strategy and I pushed hard to close the gap. But it wasn’t an easy weekend for me. It was a bit strange in terms of the tyres. On the one hand this was good because we could do very long stints without any degradation, but on the other hand it wasn’t optimum for the beginning of the race and qualifying. Generally, I think we can all be happy with where we got to in the end today.”

Timo Glock: “An unlucky day again today after a disappointing qualifying yesterday. I just came down into Turn 1 on the outside and all of a sudden I saw bits flying around. I braked a bit earlier than normal and when I turned, suddenly Kamui Kobayashi drove straight into me and I couldn’t avoid the crash. My front wing was damaged so I came back in to change it, and we realised that we also had quite a lot of damage on the left side of the car, so we decided to stop.”

HRT:
Narain Karthikeyan: “I had a great grand prix and I really enjoyed myself, it was an amazing experience. To finish 17th in my home grand prix is the best I could have wished for with the car we have and beating my teammate and one Lotus on the way makes it all the more satisfying. It’s a shame I faced the penalty and, perhaps, we could have had a much better race without it. But I made a good start and then suffered some damage to the front wing but afterwards I picked up a good rhythm and was able to complete a good race. It’s an awesome feeling to have completed the first ever Indian Grand Prix and to have been competitive with our main rivals which proved a lot of points.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “The first laps weren’t great but then I managed to pass a few people. Some laps later I got past Narain and set a good rhythm; I was happy with the first stint as everything was going well, the balance was good and the tyres were performing well. In the second stint I felt a strange feeling in the front of the car after a couple of laps, the car was moving quite a bit from left to right, I still don’t know the reason for this but it might have been a puncture. It’s a shame because as a cause we had to do an extra pit stop and lost quite a bit of time with that. In the third stint, once we found our pace we were quite competitive. It ruined the rhythm of our race but hopefully we can avoid it from happening next time.”

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