Team Lotus wait patiently to push T128
Team Lotus will have to wait until Friday to have a serious look at their performance possibilities – but were at least able to get some testing done in Valencia.
Thursday saw the T128 put through its paces by veteran Italian driver Jarno Trulli – although no serious times were recorded on officially the final day of this season's opening test by the Hingham-based outfit.
The 38 laps Trulli did complete were without the power steering system which failed on Wednesday.
However, as Team Lotus missed Tuesday's opening session, both Trulli and Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen will get the Ricardo Torno track to themselves on Friday – with the newly-repaired steering system.
Trulli said: 'It has been a very positive first day, despite the fact we deliberately didn't set any meaningful lap times as the car is missing a few parts that will be with us on Friday.
'Nevertheless, the car feels great – it has good grip and we were able to concentrate on carrying out work on the systems which we were going to have to do at some point anyway.
'Now we can concentrate on building up the performance levels in the next tests, so while it's a shame I couldn't have a full taste of the new car, it was still a very positive first day (for me).'
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Those performance levels will see Team Lotus playing catch-up to their current bitter rivals, Hethel-based Group Lotus-backed Renault – Robert Kubica was quickest overall on Thursday's time-sheets as their innovative front blown exhaust impressed.
Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne remained happy with his team's progress so far and said: 'We had a limited programme due to the lack of power steering on the car. On the positive side we have now completed the systems checks on fuel, aerodynamics and cooling…so with the fact we have another full day of testing, we are aiming to step up to focusing on performance on our third day in Valencia.'