Jarno Trulli says the new Lotus power steering system has "transformed" his car, the Italian delighted with his performance after qualifying.
Trulli had struggled with the previous power steering, which was not giving him enough feedback to feel the car properly, and so Lotus introduced a new version for this weekend's race. The Italian has been more competitive with it, and he finished less than two tenths behind teammate Heikki Kovalainen in qualifying today, despite claiming he did not extract the best from his car.
The Lotus driver qualified in 20th.
"This has been a very good day, even though in qualifying I didn't manage to get everything I could out of the car," he said. "On the first run we went with the prime and the car was oversteering a little. On the second run we went onto the super-softs and found more understeer than I'd had all weekend so I wasn't really able to find the pace I'd had yesterday and this morning.
"Despite that I am really pleased with how this weekend's gone. The new power steering system has transformed the car for me and I'm so much happier now – it's really like night and day, and I can't wait to get back in tomorrow and see what we can do in the race.
"The difference between the two tire choices means strategy will come into play in a big way, so let's see what we can do."
Kovalainen was also pleased with his day after turning his car around following difficult practice sessions.
"After a bit of a tough weekend so far I'm really pleased with how qualy finished up," he said. "I've not been able to find a balance I'm happy with all weekend and we made a couple of changes for qualifying that finally took us in the right direction.
"On the first run I couldn't get a clean lap together, but I was quietly optimistic we could hook it all up on the second run and that's how it ended up. I had to work pretty hard to get it all right and it's very pleasing to see it come good in the last minutes of Q1.
"The updates we've brought here are working very well for us and it looks like we've made a gain relative to the guys ahead, and with Jarno clearly much more competitive here the mood is really good across the whole team."