Trulli good result is the target for Lotus

Michael BaileyLotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne hopes to right a wrong for Jarno Trulli in Malaysia this weekend. The Italian driver's hard work in practice and qualifying at last week's Australian Grand Prix all went to waste when a hydraulics failure prevented him from taking his place on the Melbourne grid - the only time a Lotus has failed to record a classified finish so far this season.Michael Bailey

Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne hopes to right a wrong for Jarno Trulli in Malaysia this weekend.

The Italian driver's hard work in practice and qualifying at last week's Australian Grand Prix all went to waste when a hydraulics failure prevented him from taking his place on the Melbourne grid - the only time a Lotus has failed to record a classified finish so far this season.

Trulli was philosophical after the race but Gascoyne aims to bring both cars home in Sepang on Sunday, Lotus' home grand prix and a venue for most of Gascoyne's graft in getting the new Hingham-based Lotus outfit off the ground.

"We left Australia with mixed feelings," said Gascoyne. "We were delighted that Heikki Kovalainen finished and showed, again, that our initial focus on building a reliable car is paying off, but sorry for Jarno that he didn't have the chance to start the race because of a failure that was out of our control.


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"We go into this weekend determined to give both drivers the chance to maintain our good start to the season - we've finished three out of four so far and I want to make it five out of six at Sepang.

"On a personal level it's great to be back in Malaysia and give the fans the chance to show what we've been working on since September last year. I spent a lot of time here when we were putting the entry together, and when we launched the team, and it's just great to be back here with two races done, and to show that the dream we had and the hard work we're all putting in is starting to pay off.

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"The race this weekend will be another tough one for us - the temperature and the weather will obviously play a big part in our strategy for the weekend, but I'm confident we'll be able to build on the solid start we've had so far, and put on a good show for our Malaysian fans."

After kicking his heels for round two of the Formula One calendar, Trulli is desperate to be involved for much longer in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

He said: "I was obviously disappointed not to start in Melbourne, but that makes me even more determined to do well in Malaysia.

"I know the team and our suppliers have been putting in the hours to fix the problem we had, so I just want to get back on track and push."

Things have been more consistent for Trulli's Finnish team-mate, Kovalainen, who was impressive at both Bahrain and Australia, where he was just three places from picking up Lotus' first championship point at only the second time of asking.

"I've always looked forward to the Sepang race," said Kovalainen. "It's a technical circuit, one that puts heavy demands on your fitness level and pays you back if you find a good rhythm.

"I trained well over the winter and am feeling really good, physically and mentally, so I'm looking forward to the challenge, and after Bahrain and Melbourne my confidence levels in the car continue to grow, so basically I'm looking forward to getting on with it."

As for team principal Tony Fernandes, he can barely hide his pride at seeing his team prepare for its first home grand prix.

"It's difficult to put into words just how happy I am to see Lotus Racing in Malaysia," said Fernandes.

"Just over six months ago I said we'd be here, and quite a few very experienced, very clever people said it couldn't be done - you couldn't build an F1 team from scratch.

"I'm so proud. We are British and Malaysian, united, and I want Lotus Racing to be accessible to anyone, anywhere, globally.

"We are living the dream right now and I'm just really pleased that everyone in Malaysia can join us in doing so."

After today's two free practice sessions, and a third tomorrow, qualifying takes place at 4pm before Sunday's race kicks off at the same time.

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