Lotus Racing technical director Mike Gascoyne has said that his drivers’ realistic views of the pace of the car are a positive asset to the team.
Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen have both been quoted as saying that the new Lotus car lacks downforce, but Gascoyne believes this means they know the amount of progress that will be required.
“They are realistic about where the pace of the car is at the moment,” Gascoyne told Autosport.
“I think there have been a couple of headlines that make it sound they are much more negative than they actually are. You can be realistic and say the car lacks downforce and that flashes a headline. But if you talk to them, they are saying, ‘The team is great, and the progress is amazing’ so there are a lot of positives. Some of these comments get seized as headlines when they don’t mean them as such, but they are actually very positive about where the team is and impressed with being part of the team. I think they are pretty happy.”
Gascoyne went on to pay tribute to the experience of Jarno Trulli in particular, which he said had already helped the team to solve problems at source.
“Jarno got in the car two days ago, and within four or five laps he said, â€˜I understand this is the problem it’s this, we need to solve that’. You then do some things and he says, â€˜yes, this is better, we now have a clear direction.’ So it is clear straight away that he can pick it up.”
The ex-Toyota man said that reliability would be key to the team standing any chance of points finishes.
“The only way you are ever going to score points is to finish.
“Everyone knows that in the first four races, there is always going to be a good opportunity if you finish – so that has to be the number one aim. That’s how we approached it because if you put new aero bits on it, you can make it quicker. If you’re not finishing you’re not going to get anything. The aim was always to do the first four races and have a car that has a chance of finishing.”