Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01)
FP1: 25 laps; 19th place; best time 1.36.949; best sector times S1 34.882 (19th), S2 43.606 (19th), S3 18.421 (20th)
FP2: 37 laps, 19th place, best time 1.36.095; best sector times S1 34.590 (20th), S2 43.181 (19th), S3 18.263 (19th)
“I think we’ve got to be pretty pleased with today. We ran through the whole programme and even though we can’t find the same grip levels as the guys ahead, I think we achieved what we set out to today. The battle with the guys around us is now really tight, and that’s excellent, for us in the team as it keeps us focused, and for the fans as they have something to keep them on the edge of their seats. Obviously nearly all the effort back at the factory is on next year, so it’s good that we can keep ahead of Timo and Lucas, and I think for the rest of the weekend it will be a really good fight between us.”
Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04)
FP1: 23 laps, 21st place, best time 1.37.388; best sector times S1 35.045 (21st), S2 43.732 (20th), S3 18.363 (19th)
FP2: 33 laps, 20th place, best time 1.36.333; best sector times S1 34.556 (19th), S2 43.257 (20th), S3 18.520 (23rd)
“It’s always good being in Japan. I have some fantastic support here, and it’s great to be here for the first time with Lotus Racing. It’s easy to see what we mean to the fans, and next year will be even better for them, in so many ways for the whole team. Today we completed a good number of laps but I haven’t been particularly happy with the grip levels and balance, in either session. I think there’s a lot more to come from the car tomorrow, and with some more work tonight we should be able to find more time and more performance tomorrow.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Today was the first day of running for us since the very sad news of Peter Warr’s passing. This weekend we want to pay tribute to Peter who contributed so much to the Team Lotus legend. He paid us the privilege of being our guest at the first race this season in Bahrain and our thoughts will be with his family for the whole weekend.
“On the track it was a good day for us. We had a solid session with both cars, running a normal Friday programme and we had decent pace and no reliability issues at all. We managed to complete as many laps as possible as obviously the forecast tomorrow is for a lot of rain, so this will be the only dry running we will have all weekend.”
Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: “I’d like to add my thoughts, and those of the whole team, to Peter Warr’s family on the sad news we received as we arrived in Japan. He was an inspiration to all of us, and long may his memory remain.
“We’re all pleased with the day’s work – it was good to see both cars complete a lot of mileage and maintain our position ahead of both other new teams, and it was also good to turn our attention back to the track after a very busy couple of weeks for the whole team. We have a huge amount of support around the world, particularly in Malaysia, across Asia and in the UK, and we have had some amazing feedback to the news that we will be running Red Bull gearboxes and hydraulics next year – we’ll continue to do our best in 2010 to make all our fans and partners proud, and I think today we did just that.”