Race day in Germany began with Lotus Racing Chief Mechanic Phil Spencer, Deputy Team Principal Kamarudin Meranun and Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat paying their respects to Team Lotus legend Jim Clark at his Hockenheim memorial, but it was a disappointing Sunday for the team after both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen recorded DNFs.
Trulli was running 15th when he retired on lap 4 due to a gearbox problem. He came in to the pits for the team to reset the problem and went out again, but it didn’t work out. The Italian seems to be shouldering most of the mechanical bad luck between the two drivers. Heikki Kovalainen on the other hand was forced to retire on lap 60 after coming together with Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber, who was lapping him at the time.
“It was my mistake but I didn’t see the Sauber coming. I thought I was letting the Williams past, and didn’t see the Sauber so I closed the door and that was the end of the race. It’s a shame because I was running pretty well until then,” the Finn admitted.
“Ultimately a very disappointing day. Jarno lost second gear and had to retire and Heikki had to retire after contact with de la Rosa. Both cars made good starts – we started Jarno on the harder tyre and Heikki on the options to split the strategies, but Jarno’s race was over before he’d really started. Heikki drove a strong race and was comfortably leading the battle of the new teams before contact forced him to retire. Despite this it was still a strong showing from us, and now we move on to Hungary,” said Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer.
The lack of improvement in terms of performance isn’t entirely unexpected, as we previously reported that Lotus Racing has shift its focus and resources on next year’s car, as there’s little hope of overhauling any of the established teams this season.