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Sunday race report – Lotus, Virgin, Hispania – 2011 Belgium

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Team Lotus

Jarno Trulli: “For me and the whole team that was a really good race. I had a great start, passing a few other cars away from the line but then the accident in T1 meant both Heikki and I suffered damage – him to his nosecone, me to the floor and I had to run the whole race with that damage, so to finish 14th after that is just fantastic. Apart from the start I enjoyed the whole race – I passed a number of cars and when the safety car came out I was able to close the gap to the cars ahead. That gave me the chance to fight with the Renault and I passed him and was then able to keep pace with the other guys ahead. One of the best points of the race was the first stop I made – I came in just behind one of the HRTs and the pitcrew did a brilliant job to get me out fast enough to pass him in the pitlane, so I want to thank them and the whole team for a really solid weekend. Racing like this, with no problems and with a car I can fight with all afternoon is very satisfying, so now I can’t wait to get back in when we get to Italy and keep up the momentum we’ve built up here.”
Heikki Kovalainen: “That was a good race for us, obviously apart from the start! I got off the line well but it all tightened up at the first corner and I touched Jarno after someone else had hit me – I was caught in a bit of a sandwich but after I’d pitted and had a new nose it all went pretty well from there. The soft tyres weren’t working quite as well as the mediums, but I was still able to push and the main thing is we had a two car finish in strong positions, so that’s a good end to the weekend.”

Virgin

Jerome D’Ambrosio: “I’m pretty happy about my race I have to say and I was very comfortable with the car balance. It was quite difficult at the start as there was a lot of debris and at one point I thought I had a problem but in the end it was a smooth race. It was also a bit tough in the last laps of the race trying to save fuel. It was the first time I ever had to do that so I had to try to adapt. It was something different but that’s just more experience for me and it worked out okay. I’m very pleased how things went in my first home Grand Prix. There were quite a few incidents today so I focused on keep it nice and clean and in the end the team has another good two-car result. It’s been a great way to start part two of the season.”
Timo Glock: “It was a bad start to the race as I made a mistake into Turn 1. I hit the brakes, locked the front tyres and had no chance to avoid the crash with Paul Di Resta. Unfortunately I destroyed his car and his race a bit, so I have to say sorry for that – it was my mistake. But I got a penalty for it and had to pit to get a new front wing and check the car as it felt a bit strange after we hit. But in the end I just tried to bring the car back home, closing the gap and overtaking one of the HRTs. I have to say the boys did a great job with the pit stops and overall I’m happy with the result.”

Hispania

Tonio Liuzzi: “We knew it would be a complicated race, especially in dry conditions, but I made a good start and gained a few positions quickly. We were ahead of our main rivals and, even though we knew beforehand that our pace wasn’t the best, we kept on fighting. I think we did a pretty good job, especially in the first stint of the race. We’ve improved on car set-up and race pace with respect to Friday’s practice sessions which were also in dry conditions. But we’ve still got work to do to prove that we can progress from here until the end of season. The next race in Monza will be special for me because I will be racing at home, so I’m really looking forward to it. We still have to work hard this week though, because it is a very technical circuit.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I can’t be fully satisfied because it has been a short race for me but at least the time I was out there was really positive. I made a good start and then benefited from some incidents ahead but also made the right choice which let me pick up a few spots. The pace was quite good, a few of the faster cars ended up coming back through but we let them go without losing much time with our direct rivals. It was looking quite good ahead of the Virgins and Lotus. Unfortunately we had a problem with the rear which made us end the race prematurely. But there is no doubt that there are some positives to take. It would have been nice to finish but we’ve always got next time. From my side I’m happy with how the race was going and we will try to build on it for the next Grand Prix in Monza.”

Images © Lotus, Virgin, HRT


All material and photos are copyrighted material and owned by their respective owners. Use or depiction of images or trademarks throughout this website is for illustrative and editorial purposes only.Images come courtesy of; ferrari.com, mclaren.com, forceindiaf1.com, redbull.com, mercedesgp.com, renaultf1.com, toyota, bmw-sauber, williamsf1, lotus, virgin, Daylife.com, getty Images/LAT and AP Photos.


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