Monaco Grand Prix, Thursday Practice saw Lotus Racing run a total of 122 laps around the tight turns of the Principality, and take another step forward in performance with Heikki Kovalainen finishing FP2 just over one second behind the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari. (Making his debut in a Lotus Racing press release) Jody Egginton, Chief Race Engineer: “I think the session went quite well today. Heikki obviously put in a good performance, putting in some good times at the end and I think with the changing weather conditions we did a good job. Jarno was a little bit unlucky unfortunately with an engine issue which prevented him from completing the program but we completed a good deal of work and I think we’re now looking ok for Saturday.”

Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03: 30 laps, 21st, 1.19.902 / FP2: 13 laps, 21st, 1.18.667): “It was a bit frustrating today as I lost time in the garage this afternoon, and didn’t really get the chance to push as I’d have liked on track. The times were coming down but unfortunately in Monaco every single minute you lose being on track is going to cost you a little bit throughout the weekend. Obviously I’m experienced, so on the driver’s side it won’t affect me but with the car we still need to find the right setup and the right balance. Despite this it’s good to be here and to see Lotus Racing on track, as I know how much that means to a lot of the fans, and also to see that we continue to improve the car every time we get out on track.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01: FP1: 31 laps, 20th, 1.19.606 / FP2: 48 laps, 19th, 1.18.184): “Overall it was a very good Thursday on track. We completed both sessions without any problems and managed to complete all our programs. As soon as I got in the car on Thursday morning it felt good and throughout the day we’ve been able to improve it step by step, so we’re definitely going in the right direction. We tried both compounds of tyres and they’re both working fine, and the long run with the soft tyres went without any problems, so that’s also pretty encouraging. We ended up pretty close to the car in front and anything can happen here so I’m looking forward to qualifying and the race. I’m really pleased with today’s performance and I think everyone in the team can be very happy with the job we’re doing.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Today was a reasonably good day. Jarno’s program this afternoon was cut short with an engine problem, although the engine in question was a high-mileage unit that reached the end of the line today. Heikki had no problems completing the planned program, with a good long run at the end, so overall the team had a good day. The cars are in good shape, and we’re pretty confident there’s more to come for Saturday.”

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