There has been speculation that the Lotus Racing driver lineup will be changed for next season, with rumours that Jarno Trulli will be the man making way. While both Heikki Kovalainen and Trulli aren’t yet confirmed for 2011, team boss Tony Fernandes has given strong hints that both men will be retained.

“I think we have brought out the best in Heikki. I think Heikki has had probably his greatest year and I think in Jarno we have not given him a good enough car and we want to see him in the best car. He is motivated, he is hungry and it is up to us to give him a good car and his experience will help us build him a better car in 2011,” he told Autosport.

The veteran Italian has been very unlucky throughout Lotus Racing’s maiden season, bearing a big chunk of reliability issues that saw him record eight retirements. Heikki is classified 20th in the driver’s standings, the best of the new teams, while Trulli is 21st.

“I think that it is highly unlikely we will change what we have. I am a big believer in consistency and there have been some very interesting approaches that have been made to us. I took a brave decision in taking two salaried drivers. It showed our attention from day one and we continue to do that, so I don’t see a change unless something miraculous comes up. Consistency is important and keeping a together team, a happy team and strengthening that team is what we are all about,” Fernandes added.

As to when an announcement will be made: “We’re close to being able to say who’s in the car for next year,” team spokesman Tom Webb told the BBC.