Malaysian owned Lotus Racing had a mixed weekend at yesterday’s Australian GP. Thanks to Heikki Kovalainen’s second finish in as many races (he finished 13th, two laps behind the race winner, but well ahead of HRT’s Karun Chandhok, the only other finisher among the new teams), Lotus is starting to cement its reputation as the team to beat in the rookie mini league. The downside was that teammate Jarno Trulli failed to make the start due to a hydraulics problem.
“Obviously a very disappointing start. Jarno had a hydraulic power pack fail on the grid, not something we’ve seen before and we couldn’t get it changed in time,” explained technical chief Mike Gascoyne. The Italian driver was also struck with misfortune in qualifying when his seat broke, but managed to bring the car home in 20th place.
“I guess we’ve got to have had some bad luck at some point and unfortunately it was today. I’m disappointed for Jarno, but Heikki did us proud – three places away from a point, and he was keeping pace with most of the other cars throughout the race. Maybe it would have been nice if three other cars had gone out so we could get a point, but, joking aside, it is good that at this stage of the season we’re already thinking about points. We’re in a nice position for Malaysia. We’re looking forward to going home, and really looking forward to giving our fans something to shout about,” said team principal Tony Fernandes.
After boring Bahrain, Albert Park and Melbourne’s dark skies served up a really exciting race, with plenty of gripping battles, mishaps and the “customary” Sebastian Vettel car failure while leading the race. Let’s hope that the Malaysian GP this weekend will be as good to watch, if not better. Will you make the trip to Sepang this year?