Lotus aim to see it through to the finish
Lotus Racing are hoping to see two cars over the finishing line for the first time this season in China on Sunday. The famous marque has made a credible return to Formula One after a 16-year absence in the three grands prix to date.
Lotus Racing are hoping to see two cars over the finishing line for the first time this season in China on Sunday.
The famous marque has made a credible return to Formula One after a 16-year absence in the three grands prix to date.
However, although arguably the best of the three new teams on the grid for 2010, in each of the races in Bahrain, Australia and Malaysia, only one car has seen the chequered flag.
Jarno Trulli was denied that privilege at the Sakhir circuit when, just two laps from home, he suffered a hydraulics issue, a problem that also plagued him in Melbourne when he failed to even start.
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At Sepang, it was Heikki Kovalainen's turn to endure hydraulics heartache as the Finn was forced to retire 10 laps from the end.
Ahead of the last of the fly-away races in Shanghai before the F1 circus returns to its European heartland, there is only one aim for chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne.
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"We're focusing on getting both cars across the finish line before we turn our attention to the upgrade package we have planned for Barcelona (Spanish Grand Prix)," said Gascoyne.
"The guys back at the factory have worked very hard on the parts we sent back, and have done a great job to turn around everything in time and get it sent back here.
"Our car's race pace has been good so far, and I think we'll see that again in Shanghai.
"It's a technical circuit that will bring out the best in both our drivers. I think their experience will see us build on the solid start we've had so far."
Although the Shanghai International Circuit is a favourite for 35-year-old Italian Trulli, he has been forced to retire in three of his five outings, with his highest finish 13th.
As for Kovalainen, he managed fifth last year with McLaren. The Finn is a big fan of China, and is looking forward to the race.
"I feel really good coming into the Chinese Grand Prix," he said. "I've had a few days of solid training and a bit of golf since leaving Malaysia and I love coming to China. We have some great fans out here - they wait at the hotel all night just to get an autograph and always give us really good presents to take home."
Trulli agreed, adding: "China's one of my favourite races on the calendar - I've not had the best luck at the track over the years, but I like it as it rewards a well balanced car and encourages you to push hard, particularly in the high speed corners. Weproved we have good reliability in the car so I'm looking forward to bringing it home and giving the Chinese fans something new to cheer for. I've always had great support here, and now with Lotus Racing they have a British team with an Asian core to cheer for so I'm expecting even more support over the whole race weekend."