Jarno Trulli declared himself delighted with Lotus' new power steering system after free practice in Hungary.
The Italian veteran has been unhappy with the feeling from the car's steering throughout the season, and cited this is the main reason why he has struggled for pace. Revised power steering has been introduced for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, and Trulli said the improvement was immediately obvious.
"I'm very happy today," said Trulli, who stood down for last weekend's German GP to let test driver Karun Chandhok have a race chance. "I want to thank the whole team, everyone at the factory and in the race team because they have all been patient with me and have worked hard to give me the new power steering system and a car that I can really feel.
"As soon as I pulled out this morning it felt so much better than before so, today, I've been able to start rebuilding my confidence in the car, and working on all the little changes and improvements that help me to find a setup I can really work with. It's been a really positive day and for that my thanks go to everyone in the team."
Trulli was 19th fastest today, half a second ahead of teammate Heikki Kovalainen, and within half a second of Vitaly Petrov's Renault and Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso, to the satisfaction of Lotus' technical chief Mike Gascoyne.
"That was one of the best Fridays we have had this year," Gascoyne said. "We have made some modifications to the diffuser and those changes have definitely worked, and with Jarno immediately telling us the new power steering system is working exactly as we wanted it to we have been able to push closer to the cars ahead than we have for a while."