Mike Gascoyne eyeing Team Lotus progress in Canada
Mike Gascoyne is eyeing more progress for Hingham's Team Lotus as they prepare for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
Updates to the Norfolk marque's T128 since Barcelona have hinted at better pace for the 2010 new boys – although there still seems some way to go for the constructor to earn its first points since making it on the Formula One grid.
However, with Montreal tending to turn up eventful and unpredictable races, Team Lotus will be hoping they can turn their improved performance into a season's best result.
'Montreal is one of the races that is universally popular up and down the pit lane,' said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. 'The city welcomes us with open arms, the track is a great challenge for the cars, the drivers and the whole team and the fans create the sort of atmosphere that proves they love having us in town.
'On track the aim is to put in another performance that continues the progress we've shown all year.
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'Different tracks may reduce or increase the gap to the cars ahead, but the facts are clear – we have been into Q2, we can race cars ahead on pace and we are now lapping the teams we were racing last year.
'Canada gives us another chance to keep moving forward and we have a new low downforce package for Montreal that we have seen some good numbers on in the wind tunnel, so I think the progress should continue.'
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Jarno Trulli's 13th place finish and Heikki Kovalainen's 14th two week's ago in Monaco represented Team Lotus' best weekend of the season – and both drivers hope the momentum will continue around the lively Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
'Monaco was really busy but the final result was great for the whole team,' said Trulli. 'I enjoyed myself on track and I think the performances we've put in there and in Spain show that we are progressing in exactly the right direction.
'As it's a temporary circuit the first challenge is dealing with the track surface. It improves throughout the weekend but with the constant threat of the walls it's critical not to make any mistakes and experience usually counts around there.
'It's a very quick lap and one of the toughest tracks of the season on the brakes, so cooling and stability under braking both play a big role, particularly in the race. It'll be interesting to see how the tyre strategies play out over the weekend and I think it'll be another great race, hopefully for us as well.'
Kovalainen added: 'Canada is one of the highlights of the whole season and I know everyone in the team is looking forward to getting out there.
'It's a good challenge. It's hard on the brakes and you need to be really precise in the braking zones to nail a quick lap. Another key is to use the kerbs as much as you can and as efficiently as possible – you can make up good time if you have a car that's set up to ride them well so that will be one of the key goals for the practice sessions.
'We have so much more data on the car we can get much closer to maximising its potential and Canada's a good place to do our best to achieve that.'