Team Lotus has pinned its hopes on a new rear wing tested during Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as it seeks to end its season on a high and secure its coveted tenth position in the constructors' championship this weekend.
All three of Team Lotus's drivers, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli and Friday tester Luiz Razia reported back that the wing was an improvement during the two 90 minute test sessions at Interlagos. It has been introduced to maximize the car's DRS potential.
"The new rear wing is another step forward and it's encouraging to see that sort of update coming right at the end of the season," said Kovalainen.
Trulli, who was fastest of the three Lotus drivers on Friday, added: "We need to do a bit of work on fine tuning the balance, and I think there's more to come from the new rear wing, but the update is working and hopefully we can show in qualifying the sort of pace we've had recently in the races – that's the aim for tomorrow, and then to carry that over to Sunday."
The team's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne praised Razia's performance as the Brazilian, who drove for the team at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, took part in his second Friday session of the season.
"He did a really good job, completing his whole programme and apart from one small mistake on his quickest lap, which probably cost him half a second at the last corner, he can be very satisfied with his day's work," said Gascoyne, who was also pleased with the effect of the new rear wing.
"That worked exactly as we had predicted," he added, "and gave us a significant improvement in lap time which has helped us move another step closer to the cars immediately ahead so I think we can look forward to a good final weekend of 2011."